Wednesday evening’s meeting being based on the 14 stations was new for us. It is something that Roman Catholics do. The history of the 14 stations of the cross is this:
The Stations of the Cross are a Catholic devotion which commemorates the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Each of the fourteen stations represents an event which occurred during Jesus’ Passion and death at Calvary on Good Friday.
The Stations were originally performed many centuries ago by Christian pilgrims who visited the Holy Land and the sites of Jesus’ Passion. Promotion of the devotion to the Stations began in earnest with the Franciscans, who were given custody of the Holy Places in the Holy Land in the 1300s. Countless Catholics have all enriched their spiritual lives with this powerful devotion.
The Stations of the Cross, also called The Way of the Cross, is a devotion to the passion of Christ consisting of prayers and meditations on fourteen occurrences that were experienced by Christ on His way to the crucifixion. 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 Moslims recaptured the Holy Land pilgrimages were too dangerous. As a result, the Stations of the Cross became a popular substitute pilgrimage throughout Europe. The Stations represented critical events from Scripture or tradition of Jesus’ journey to Calvary. Originally done 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 all Catholic churches. 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.
These days the practise is to have 14 pictures on the church and walk up to, or in the case of small churches face, the pictures and pray. It is symbolic of the original walk rather than worshiping idols.
Thursday was Maunday Thursday and the student minister took the service at Auckland Park. It is a quaint little church and perfect for the service. I liked the fact that there wasn’t one spare seat. It was a lovely service which he got absolutely spot on. After the service was a faith meal which rounded the evening off.
Yesterday we started off with the service in our church, the other churches likewise. We all came together for a short service at the band stand in town. Hot cross buns and leaflets were handed out as well. David from St John’s said that it was good that so many Christians had come out again despite the weather (snowing). He had appreciated so many of us turning up Tuesday even though the weather was bad. There was coffee, tea and hot cross buns in St John’s afterwards.
It has been a good week although we were exhausted by yesterday. We have kept up with doing our usual volunteering during the week plus gone to all the meetings. We had been asked if we were going to the march in the valley (Eldon) yesterday but we were too tired. It was important to us that we had gone to all the services. The last ones are tomorrow afternoon. This will be for the resurrection of Jesus which is as important as the rest. The others had led up to the last supper and crucifixion of Christ who died for our sins. The resurrection is Jesus living again and rising to heaven.