How to Pray the Stations of the Cross: Way of The Cross
The “Stations of the Cross” also referred to as the “Way of The Cross” are a series of fourteen pictures, paintings or carvings that portray the events along Christ's journey in his final hours from his condemnation by Pontias Pilate to his body being laid in the tomb.
The devotion is believed to have begun with St Francis of Assisi and is observed throughout the world by Catholics who commemorate the journey made by Jesus in his final hours.
It can be prayed at any time during the church year but is particular relevant during the season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and the Fridays during the season of Lent.
Other words used to describe the prayer are: ‘Way of Sorrows’ or ‘Via Dolorosa’.
It is thought that the Stations originated as a way that those unable to travel the pilgrimage route in Jerusalem, the ‘Via Dolorosa’, and the plenary indulgence attached to the pilgrimage is also given to those who prayerfully make the journey of the fourteen stations.
The images of the Stations of the Cross are usually displayed around the inside walls of churches and chapels, but are also often found near shrines.
The devotion of the Stations of the Cross can be prayed alone or as a group. In order to pray the Stations of the Cross, the individual or group move from one station to station meditating and reciting prayers on the events depicted which relate to Christ's Passion, from the first station where he is condemned to death through to the burial of Jesus.
It is customary for the congregation to sing verses of the medieval hymn Stabat Mater ("By the Cross her Station Keeping") between each station and the full text of the Stabat Mater in the English and Latin has been included.
Many texts have been written for use during the Stations, but that of St. Alphonsus Ligori remains the most popular.
The book contains the following sections all accessed from the table of contents for easy navigation. Links are provided at the end of each station to the relevant bible verse as well as back to the table of contents:
How to Pray the Stations of the Cross – Steps
Stations of the Cross
First Station – Bible Verse
Second Station – Bible Verse
Third Station – Bible Verse
Fourth Station – Bible Verse
Fifth Station – Bible Verse
Sixth Satation – Bible Verse
Seventh Station – Bible Verse
Eighth Station – Bible Verse
Ninth Station – Bible Verse
Tenth Station – Bible Verse
Eleventh Station – Bible Verse
Twelfth Station – Bible Verse
Thirteenth Station – Bible Verse
Fourteenth Station – Bible Verse
Can you pray the devotion alone?
Stabat Mater Hymn - Latin
Stabat Mater Hymn - English
Chapters from the Gospels
Matthew – Chapter 27
Mark – Chapter 15
Luke – Chapter 23
John – Chapter 19
- Melissa Russell, December 2011
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