Looking at Lent
As early as 4th century, perhaps earlier, pilgrims to the Holy Land walked the route Jesus took as he made His way to Golgotha for our salvation. Muslims captured Jerusalem and it was too dangerous to make this pilgrimage, so Christians replicated the sites back home in Europe. They developed the devotion we commonly call Stations of the Cross. It is also known as Way or the Cross, Via Dolorosa, or Via Crucis, depending on where one lives.
The devotion consists of meditation on 14 events which took place during Christ’s Passion. Franciscans popularized the meditation which was made outside along roads to shrines or churches. It can still be made outside and often is. Inside stations are along the walls of the nave in Catholic Churches. They may be painted, carved, engraved, wood, metal, canvas, topped with a wooden cross. The Way of the Cross may be part of public liturgy or made privately. It can also be done at home without the visual aids of artistic stations.
Meditations and prayers can vary, but generally consists of making the Sign of the Cross, expression of penitence/contrition, prayers, scripture or pious readings, stanzas of hymns. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord.
Beginning tomorrow and following Mondays and Thursdays of Lent, I’ll be making the Way of the Cross on my blog and hope you will join me. The meditations will be my own and I invite you to insert your own, and we’ll pray together. Have a Blessed Lent.