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23 Mar 2008 01:32 #12777 by Yoda

The 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 Anglicanism , and Lutheranism as well. 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 . On Good Friday 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new form of devotion, called the Scriptural Way of the Cross which calls for more meditation. He celebrated that thereafter at the Colosseum 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 . 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. In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor on reparations, Pope Pius XI called Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ a duty for Catholics and refered to them as \" some sort of compensation to be rendered for the injury \" with respect to the sufferings of Jesus. 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 \". The Stations themselves are usually a series of 14* pictures or sculptures depicting the following scenes: Jesus is condemned to death Jesus receives the cross Jesus falls the first time Jesus meets His Mother Simon of Cyrene carries the cross Veronica wipes Jesus' face with her veil Jesus falls the second time Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem Jesus falls the third time Jesus is stripped of His garments Crucifixion : Jesus is nailed to the cross Jesus dies on the cross Jesus' body is removed from the cross ( Pieta ) Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense. Pope John Paul II created a version, for the Roman Catholic Church, in which all of the Stations were taken from Scripture known as the Scriptural Way of the Cross . It was first publicly celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991 in the Coliseum in Rome . In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI approved this set of stations for meditation and public celebration: They follow this sequence: Jesus in the Garden of Olives, Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested, Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin, Jesus is denied by Peter, Jesus is judged by Pilate, Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns, Jesus takes up his cross, Jesus is helped by Simon to carry his cross, Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, Jesus is crucified, Jesus promises his kingdom to the good thief, Jesus and his mother and disciple, Jesus dies on the cross, Jesus is laid in the tomb. 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, he 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 in the Vatican . 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 Holy Father himself wrote the texts for the Jubilee year 2000 and used the traditional Stations. 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 sequence Stabat Mater Dolorosa . At the end of each station, the Adoramus Te is sometimes sung. The Alleluia is also sung; however, that holy word is buried during Lent. Structurally, Mel Gibson 's 2004 film, The Passion of 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.

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