The Way of the Cross By The Rev. Shawn Strout All artwork courtesy of www.margaretadamsparker.com
History of the Way of the Cross • Originated as pilgrimages to the Holy Land • Later developed by the Franciscans in 1342 • In 15th and 16th centuries, Franciscans built outdoor shrines. • In 1686, Pope Innocent XI permitted Franciscans to erect stations in their churches. • In 1731, Pope Clement XII extended that right to all churches. • The Anglican “Three-Legged Stool” of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
Station I Jesus is Condemned to Death • “Ecce Homo” from the Latin Vulgate • “So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the man!’” John 19:5 • Christ stands before the crowd as a convict.
Station II Jesus Takes Up the Cross. • John 19:16-18 • “Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 • Christ willingly takes up his Cross.
Station III Jesus Falls the First Time • Based on Tradition • “though he was in the form of God . . . [he] emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.” Philippians 2:6-7 • Christ’s path to Calvary is a humble one.
Station IV Jesus Meets His Grieving Mother • Also from Tradition • “What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter Jerusalem?To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter Zion?For vast as the sea is your ruin; who can heal you?” Lamentations 2:13 • A “sword of grief” pierces the soul of Mary.
Station VThe Cross is Laid on Simon of Cyrene • Found in all three Synoptic Gospels. • “As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross.” Matthew 27:32 • Are we willing to carry another’s cross?
Station VI A Woman Wipes the Face of Jesus • From Tradition • “So marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,and his form beyond that of mortals” Isaiah 52:14 • When we care for the “least of these,” we care for Christ.
Station VII Jesus Falls a Second Time • From Tradition • “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 • Our Lord stumbled just as we stumble.
Station VIII Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem • From Scripture • “A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.’” Luke 23:27-28 • Christ frees us not only from individual sin but communal sin as well.
Station IXJesus Falls a Third Time • From Tradition • “Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall!” Lamentations 3:19 • Christ felt abandoned even from his Father.
Station XJesus is Stripped • John 19:24 • “They divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.” Psalm 22:18 • Can we accept humiliation for our faith?
Station XIJesus is Nailed to the Cross • All four Gospels • “There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.” John 19:18 • “Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace . . .”
Station XII Jesus Dies on the Cross • All four Gospels • “When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished"; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 • “Grant us so to die daily to sin . . .”
Station XIII The Body of Jesus is Placed in the Arms of His Mother • From Tradition • “All you who pass by, behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.” Lamentations 1:12 • A mystical relationship between Christ and His Mother.
Station XIVJesus is Laid in the Tomb • All four Gospels • “And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.” John 27:59-60 • We are buried with Christ through baptism.