Stations of the Cross
The Stations represent critical events from Scripture or tradition of Jesus’ journey to Calvary. Celebrated originally only outdoors, the Stations were allowed inside churches in the mid-18th century. Eventually fixed at fourteen, the Stations soon became a familiar feature in Catholic; Lutheran, and Anglican churches.
The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, by meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death, and is often performed in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during His Passion.
The devotion may be conducted personally by the faithful, making their way from one station to another and saying the prayers, or by having an officiating celebrant move from cross to cross while the faithful make the responses.
- The Condemnation of Christ
- Jesus Carries his Cross
- Jesus Falls the First Time
- Jesus Meets his Mother
- Simon Helps Jesus carry His Cross
- Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
- Jesus Falls the Second Time
- Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
- Jesus Fall a Third Time
- Jesus’ Clothes are Taken Away
- Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
- Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
- The Resurrection
Use these prayers in your daily spiritual life as a reminder of Christ’s offer of salvation and what he endured to assure it, or as a guide to learn more about the Stations of the Cross and why we as a faith embrace them.
A Brief History of the Stations of the Cross
The traditional 14 Stations of the Cross represent what Christ experienced on His way to crucifixion. usually represented as a series of artistic representations. The Stations of the Cross are also known as the The Way of the Cross. Each of the Stations are a devotion to the passion of Christ consisting of prayers and meditations on fourteen occurrences using each of the Stations to commemorate the Passion, often moving physically around a set of stations.
During the time of the crusades (1095-1270), it became popular for pilgrims in the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus to Calvary. After the Moslems recaptured the Holy Land pilgrimages were too dangerous. As a result, the Stations of the Cross became a popular substitute pilgrimage throughout Europe.
The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It is commonly observed by Lutherans and amongst the Anglo-Catholic wing of Anglicanism, and is most commonly observed during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent.