WHAT ARE THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS?
The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The object of the stations is to help the Christian faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western Christian churches, including Anglican,Lutheran, Methodist,and Roman Catholic.
Commonly, a series of 14 images will be arranged in numbered order along a path and the faithful travel from image to image, in order, stopping at each station to say the selected prayers and reflections. This will be done individually or in a procession most commonly during Lent, especially on Good Friday, in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during his passion.
The style, form, and placement of the stations vary widely. The typical stations are small plaques with reliefs or paintings placed around a church nave. Modern minimalist stations can be simple crosses with a numeral in the center. Occasionally the faithful might say the stations of the cross without there being any image, such as when the pope leads the stations of the cross around the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday.
1) Jesus is condemned to death
2) Jesus carries His cross
3) Jesus falls for the first time
4) Jesus meets His mother, Mary
5) Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
6) Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7) Jesus falls for the second time
8) Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9) Jesus falls for the third time
10) Jesus is stripped of His clothes
11) Jesus is nailed to the cross
12) Jesus dies on the cross
13) Jesus is taken down from the cross
14) Jesus is placed in the tomb
Although not traditionally part of the Stations, the Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as an unofficial fifteenth station.