The Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross is a popular devotion during Lent. Many parishes offer the Stations on Fridays during Lent to call to mind the journey Jesus took from condemnation to death.
Most every church has the Stations of the Cross displayed within the sanctuary, but some have them elsewhere like outside. The parish I attend in Charlotte has them both inside the church and an outdoor way of the cross that was done as an Eagle Scout project. I’ve seen a similar Scout project in Boone, NC, as well.
There are 14 stations in all:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus takes the Cross
- Jesus falls for the first time
- Mary meets Jesus
- Simon of Cyrene is made to help Jesus bear the Cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls for the second time
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls for the third time
- Jesus is stripped of his garments
- Jesus is crucified
- Jesus dies on the Cross
- Jesus is taken down from the Cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb
The Stations of the Cross is always practiced during a service on Good Friday, the only day of the year that a Mass does not take place, rather a Eucharistic service is provided.
We offer many items to help one or many find a deeper devotion through the Stations of the Cross. Many people like to pray with the Stations of the Cross rosary or Stations bracelet. Literary resources include Pope Benedict XVI’s Way of the Cross or St. Josemaria Escriva’s Way of the Cross (mini edition). For the kids, there are lots of coloring books, CDs, and activities.