Way of the Cross: Wikis

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The 12th Station of the Cross - Jesus dies on the Cross. This particular station is found in St. Raphael's Cathedral, Dubuque, Iowa.

Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or simply, The Way) refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It is less often observed in the Anglican and Lutheran churches. It may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent.

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History

The Stations of the Cross originated in pilgrimages to Jerusalem. A desire to reproduce the holy places in other lands seems to have manifested itself at quite an early date. At the monastery of San Stefano at Bologna a group of connected chapels was constructed as early as the fifth century, by St. Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, which was intended to represent the more important shrines of Jerusalem, and in consequence, this monastery became familiarly known as "Hierusalem.” These may perhaps be regarded as the germ from which the Stations afterwards developed, though it is tolerably certain that nothing that we have before about the fifteenth century can strictly be called a Way of the Cross in the modern sense. Although several travelers who visited the Holy Land during the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, mention a "Via Sacra,” i.e., a settled route along which pilgrims were conducted, there is nothing in their accounts to identify this with the Way of the Cross, as we understand it.[citation needed] The devotion of the Via Dolorosa, for which there have been a number of variant routes in Jerusalem, was probably developed by the Franciscans after they were granted administration of the Christian holy places in Jerusalem in 1342.

The earliest use of the word “stations,” as applied to the accustomed halting-places in the Via Sacra at Jerusalem, occurs in the narrative of an English pilgrim, William Wey, who visited the Holy Land in the mid-1400s, and described pilgrims following the footsteps of Christ to the cross.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Franciscans began to build a series of outdoor shrines in Europe to duplicate their counterparts in the Holy Land. The number of stations varied between eleven and thirty. In 1686, in answer to their petition, Pope Innocent XI granted to the Franciscans the right to erect stations within their churches. In 1731, Pope Clement XII extended the right of all churches to have the stations, provided that a Franciscan father erected them, with the consent of the local bishop. At the same time the number was fixed at fourteen. In 1857, the bishops of England were allowed to erect the stations by themselves, without the intervention of a Franciscan priest, and in 1862 this right was extended to bishops throughout the church.[1]

Spiritual Significance

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for Roman Catholics, as well as featuring in the worship and devotion of other Christian denominations.

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Catholic Reparations

10th Station of the Cross - Jesus is stripped of His garments
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, the meditation is often performed in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during His Passion.[2]

In his encyclical letter, Miserentissimus Redemptor, on reparations, Pope Pius XI called Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ a duty for Catholics and referred to them as "some sort of compensation to be rendered for the injury" with respect to the sufferings of Jesus.[3]

Pope John Paul II referred to Acts of Reparation as the "unceasing effort to stand beside the endless crosses on which the Son of God continues to be crucified".[4]

The Stations

Traditional Form

Fallen Christ sculpture by Nicolo Fumo, 1698.
Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches

The Stations themselves are usually a series of 14 pictures or sculptures depicting the following scenes:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus is given his cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets His Mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.

Although not traditionally part of the Stations, the Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as a fifteenth station.[5][6]

Scriptural Way of the Cross

Part of a series of articles on
Roman Catholic
Devotions to Christ

Christ Hagia Sofia.jpg

Overview of Devotions
Holy Face
Sacred Heart
Divine Mercy
Eucharistic adoration
Holy Name
Acts of Reparation
Holy Wounds
Rosary of Holy Wounds
Stations of the Cross
Precious Blood
Infant of Prague

Prayers to Jesus
Anima ChristiShoulder WoundSacred Heart prayerYou are ChristVianney's prayerPerboyre's prayerMontfort's prayerCrucifix prayer

Out of the fourteen traditional Stations of the Cross, only eight have clear scriptural foundation. Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 are not specifically attested to in the gospels and Station 13 (representing Jesus's body being taken down off the cross and laid in the arms of his mother Mary) seems to embellish the gospels' record which state that Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus down from the cross and buried him. In order to provide a version of this devotion more closely aligned with the biblical accounts, Pope John Paul II introduced a new form of devotion, called the Scriptural Way of the Cross on Good Friday 1991. He celebrated that form many times but not exclusively at the Colosseum in Rome.[7][8] In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI approved this set of stations for meditation and public celebration: They follow this sequence:

  1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane,
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested,
  3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin,
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter,
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate,
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns,
  7. Jesus takes up His cross,
  8. Jesus is helped by Simon to carry His cross,
  9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem,
  10. Jesus is crucified,
  11. Jesus promises His kingdom to the repentant thief,
  12. Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other,
  13. Jesus dies on the cross,
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Modern Usage

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 stations themselves must consist of, at the very least, fourteen wooden crosses, pictures alone do not suffice, and they must be blessed by someone with the authority to erect stations.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II led an annual public prayer of the Stations of the Cross at the Roman Colosseum on Good Friday. Originally, the Pope himself carried the cross from station to station, but in his last years when age and infirmity limited his strength, John Paul presided over the celebration from a stage on the Palatine Hill, while others carried the cross. Just days prior to his death in 2005, Pope John Paul II observed the Stations of the Cross from his private chapel. Each year a different person is invited to write the meditation texts for the Stations. Past composers of the Papal Stations include several non-Catholics. The Pope himself wrote the texts for the Great Jubilee in 2000 and used the traditional Stations.

The 4th station of the way of the cross on the Matyska in Radziechowy, Poland.

The celebration of the Stations of the Cross is especially common on the Fridays of Lent, especially Good Friday. Community celebrations are usually accompanied by various songs and prayers. Particularly common as musical accompaniment is the Stabat Mater. At the end of each station the Adoramus Te is sometimes sung. The Alleluia is also sung, except during Lent.

Structurally, Mel Gibson's 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, follows the Stations of the Cross. The fourteenth and last station, the Burial, is not prominently depicted (compared to the other thirteen) but it is implied since the last shot before credit titles is Jesus resurrected and about to leave the tomb.

Debates Regarding the Stations of the Cross

The Place of the Resurrection in the Stations

Some modern liturgists[9] say the traditional Stations of the Cross are incomplete without a final scene depicting the empty tomb and/or the resurrection of Jesus, because Jesus' rising from the dead was an integral part of his salvific work on earth.

Advocates of the traditional form of the Stations ending with the body of Jesus being placed in the tomb say the Stations are intended as a meditation on the atoning death of Jesus, and not as a complete picture of his life, death, and resurrection.

The Stations of the Resurrection (also known by the Latin name of Via Lucis) are used in some churches at Eastertide to meditate on the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.

De-Latinization and the Stations of the Cross in the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church

In recent years, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has embarked on a campaign of de-Latinization reforms consisting of the removal of the stations of the cross, the rosary, and the monstrance from the liturgy and parishes of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.[citation needed] In response a schismatic group, the Society of Saint Josaphat (SSJK), has formed with a seminary in Lviv, at which currently thirty students reside. Critics say the SSJK's liturgical practice favors severely abbreviated services and imported Roman devotions over the traditional and authentic practices and devotions of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Proponents say these symbols and rituals, borrowed from their Roman Catholic Polish neighbors have been practiced by Ukrainian Greek Catholics for centuries, and to deny them is to deprive themselves of a part of their sacred heritage which is a valuable reminder of Jesus' suffering.

Gallery

Other pictures related to the stations of the cross

References

  1. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907)s.v. "The Way of the Cross."
  2. ^ Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 087973910X
  3. ^ Miserentissimus Redemptor, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI
  4. ^ Pope John Paul II, Letter to Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, for the 50th anniversary of the Benedictine Sisters of Reparation of the Holy Face, 27 September 2000 (Vatican archives)
  5. ^ "The Official Web Site for the Archdiocese of Detroit". http://www.aodonline.org/AODOnline/Prayers+and+Reflection+12179/Stations+of+the+Cross+2309/Stations+of+the+Resurrection+-+Via+Lucis.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-04. "In some contemporary Stations of the Cross, a fifteenth station has been added to commemorate the Resurrection of the Lord." 
  6. ^ "Fr. William Saunders". http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/STCROSS.HTM. Retrieved 2009-04-04. "Because of the intrinsic relationship between the passion and death of our Lord with His resurrection, several of the devotional booklets now include a 15th station, which commemorates the Resurrection." 
  7. ^ Joseph M Champlin, The Stations of the Cross With Pope John Paul II Liguori Publications, 1994, ISBN 0892436794
  8. ^ Pope John Paul II, Meditation and Prayers for the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum, Good Friday, 2000
  9. ^ McBrien, Richard P.; Harold W. Attridge (1995). The HarperCollins encyclopedia of Catholicism. p. 1222. ISBN 9780060653385. 

See also

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

Way + of + the + Cross

Noun

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Way of the Cross

  1. A series of pictures/statues depicting the Stations of the Cross, as laid out around a church, along a road etc.

Synonyms

Translations

  • Dutch: kruisweg

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