Apr 5, 2009

Stations


I know it's been a long time since I posted. I'd really like to say that I've been too profoundly reflective and attentive to my Lenten disciplines to post ... but honestly I just haven't written about my recent studies and/or experiences.

But I have to write about this one.

Stations of the Cross is a prayer service usually held on Fridays during Lent - especially Good Friday. I had never done Stations before last Friday, and the wikipedia article didn't quite explain how it works, so here's a personal account:

I arrived a little early to the Cathedral downtown, and I think a benediction was still in progress. I waited in the entry area for Laura and then we went inside together. As we were sitting down, I spotted Jeff and Natalie and waved them over to our pew. I also spotted a couple other Catholic Young Adults whom I met back when I went to the monastery (can't believe I didn't even write a blog post about that?!). Being there with BOTH my Catholic AND Protestant friends really made me feel good. As many differences as there are between my old Protestant tradition and my Catholic Tradition, there are still far more similarities.

There are booklets to read that walk you thru each and every station - when to stand, kneel, speak aloud, sing, etc - so it's very easy to participate. (This is common for events at the Cathedral I think) And really, that's what this ceremony is all about - participating in the Way of the Cross. I enjoyed all of the stations, and the repetition and procession of it all allowed me to mentally concentrate more and more on the content of the ceremony AND remain physically engrossed in it all.

And that's what did me in, emotionally. We had been reflecting on God's work thru the law, kingdoms, and prophecies of the Old Testament, and at the twelfth station - wherein Christ dies upon the Cross - the reflection is from God's point of view. I can't remember it all, because I was just trying to keep it all in; but the theme of the reflection of the twelfth station was God asking why. Why does his creation - whom he loved, blessed, and for whom he provided - crucify Him?

(Terry has posted his own experience with this particular station too.)

I'm not a very emotional person. But like I said - I lost it. I couldn't say the prayer, I couldn't sing; it took everything I had to keep myself from sobbing and spitting all over the place. It's another one of those things that I like about the Catholic Church though - I have a really hard time connecting with the emotional aspects of the faith, but the Church surrounds me with tactile sensations I need, from candles to cathedrals, to have that experience. In Protestant traditions I always felt like there was a devaluation of the physical - like if we're really spiritual, we don't need all that.

This was my first Stations, but it convinced me that I will be going to as many Stations as I can in the future - especially during Lent. And I'll be going this Good Friday for sure, so anyone and everyone is invited to come with me. Just don't make fun of me if/when I cry like a baby.

3 comments:

FHL_Always said...

That sounds really cool! I want to go this Friday if I have the time!

Saint said...

I've actually never been to a Stations of the Cross service. Though I'm thinking I'll probably go this Friday. You know, to distract me from starving. See you at your Confirmation! Or at the airport, if you'd be so kind as to pick me up. :)

luke said...

Yeah, I should be able to pick you up.