The Third Sunday In Lent
March 6-7, 2021
Six days a year for six Fridays in Lent we commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus through a unique liturgical service. “Stations of the Cross” allows us to contemplate our Lord’s sacrifice for us as a community and individually. He gave up his life not just for all humanity, but for each one of us. In that way, it is a very personal journey we take with Jesus on His way to Golgotha (the place of his death).
This devotion has evolved over two thousand years, and is based on the tradition that our Blessed Mother would regularly visit the scenes of her son’s passion. After Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire (313 AD), crowds of pilgrims from various countries who visited the Holy Land began to follow the Way of the Cross. In 1462 an English pilgrim named William Wey described the manner in which a pilgrim should follow the steps of Christ, calling them “Stations” and resversing their progression to what we follow today.
When the Turkish Empire blocked access to Jerusalem, reproductions of the stations were erected throughout Europe, with many being outside. In the 18th century, Pope Benedict XIII and XIV permitted and encouraged all priests to have Stations (14 stations each having a cross and an image for the particular stations) placed in their churches. By the 20th century all churches had Stations of the Cross with regularly held services on Lenten Fridays.
Here at our parish, there are Stations of the Cross in the Main Church and Stone Chapel as well as one that follows a path through the woods at the bottom of the parking lot. This Lent, we have Stations of the Cross Services every Friday during Lent at 7 p.m. in the Main church. Stations have also been pre-recorded and are available on You Tube, Facebook and the parish website.
As Mary walked the Via Dolorosa (Sorrowful Way), she relived what no mother should ever experience. Pilgrims from over the centuries have followed that same path, while so many more have made it symbolically in churches or in holy outdoor spaces. It is something that many of us have done since childhood. This year we are called to do it again. However, for some it will be for the first time or in a new way. What is important isn’t how we make the journey but that we make it.
We adore you O’Christ and we praise You,
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
Patrick J. Perkins