Stations of the Cross

This is partly a plea for help and partly a wanting to discuss the various meditations used.

The background to this is that tonight I led Stations of the Cross for the first time. So perhaps it is a bit late but there may well be a next time and I got all of minus five minutes warning. That is when it was five minutes after the start time and Fr was not there, I realised it was up to me to lead. I was sacristan on duty. I grabbed the Walsingham Pilgrim handbook which was fortunately open at the right page and started. The Walsingham stations are the ones I am most familiar with having participated in them several times in the past.

Now the Walsingham Stations are fine up to a point but are too long for this time slot. We have a maximum of forty minutes and thirty minutes is desirable. Secondly, I actually like to use silence when leading prayer. So I am looking for stations that meet these criteria and I am happy to adapt to suit the setting. Any suggestions?

For those who are unfamiliar with Stations of the Cross there is a description on Wikipedia which gives a feel for them. The practice is when people do it as a communal act to use meditation and devotions at each station. I am aware of von Balthasar's meditations which are fantastic but too long. It would take me over an hour to get through them at my pace. I also do not want to write my own from scratch because they would also be too long for this setting.

Comments

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Can you not fillet an existing set? I know theres an RC set that just introduces each station with minimal emotionality and has a prayer of Collect length for each. I see no reason that they should take longer than 30 minutes.
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    A few years ago, Revd Malcolm Guite, former chaplain of Girton College, produced a great set of Stations in the form of sonnets.
  • @Jengie Jon Try this which looks to be OK. You may need to edit.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Theses seem to be on point https://usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/stations-of-the-cross/scriptural-stations-of-the-cross

    Or if you want to shake your congregation up a bit, we do these on one Friday during Lent. They change each year https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Stations-of-the-Cross
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    The recently-departed and much loved Fr Eric Simmons CR produced a booklet a few years ago: Loves's Will Love's Way. A short (couple of verses) scripture reading for each followed by a meditation of three or four short paragraphs. Available from Mirfield Publications http://www.mirfield.org.uk/
  • I have a couple of little Stations booklets - one Station per page, so by no means long-winded - and on the occasions when I've led Stations in the past I've added a hymn and/or a Collect (BCP) at start and finish. They are much along the lines mentioned by @angloid.

    One of the booklets is based on the work of St Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787), and the other is by a former Prior of the Carmelite foundation not far from here. The good Prior used a number of then-topical news items in his booklet (written maybe 25 years ago), so the meditations do need some slight alterations here and there.

    I've also used a version of Stations produced by the Iona Community some years ago - I don't have the file to hand, but IIRC they were based on the traditional 14 (or 15) used in the RC church (and many Anglican parishes, too, of course).
    David wrote: »
    A few years ago, Revd Malcolm Guite, former chaplain of Girton College, produced a great set of Stations in the form of sonnets.

    Thank you @David! I've not come across these before.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Likewise, the Episcopal Church’s Book of Occasional Services has a simple order for the Way of the Cross at page 47.

  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    David wrote: »
    A few years ago, Revd Malcolm Guite, former chaplain of Girton College, produced a great set of Stations in the form of sonnets.

    Thank you @David! I've not come across these before.

    Despite having known Malcolm and Maggie for years, I only encountered his Stations sonnets for the first time a couple of years ago. They’re short, but very moving.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Thank you.

    @David I wonder if a faded memory of Malcolm Guite's sonnets actually was part of the impulse to start this thread and I will have to see how I get on with them. If I can sit with them and read them well then great.

    @angloid a CoR version would be on target in other ways. We have a connection with the CoR. Well technically the parish does and I do as well and they are completely separate. I have known of CoR since before I can remember. Brothers from the community were at my parents' wedding. The parish has connections with two communities CoR and CHC. So a CoR version would be welcome.

    @Alan29 I do not think Cafod ones are appropriate. Not because the message is wrong but we need to always assume that there is someone doing Stations of the Cross for the first time. The other is indeed short and I would have to change the response.

    @TheOrganist I suspect with the silence in those they are actually too long as the wordiness appears to be much the same as the Walsingham Stations of the Cross but I would like to do them myself sometime.

    @Nick Tamen that might work although it gets around the time factor by removing the meditation completely. This would contrast with Malcolm Guite's which would just have the meditation.
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    Let us know how you get on with your divers options!
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    <snip>
    Now the Walsingham Stations are fine up to a point but are too long for this time slot. We have a maximum of forty minutes and thirty minutes is desirable. Secondly, I actually like to use silence when leading prayer. So I am looking for stations that meet these criteria and I am happy to adapt to suit the setting. Any suggestions? <snip>

    (BtW I never did understand the <snip> thing that some did on the olde shippe ... I assume it was just an elaborate ellipsis ... but it's kinda cute)

    In a country centre I once had (yes I'm looking at you, St Philip's) I had an organist who would only ever play the first two and the last verse of a hymn, regardless of meaning. *Sigh*. But you know .. you could apply this Readers Digest methodology to the Stations?

  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    The Walsingham one is more extreme, depending on the length of verses you either get one or two per station. The next station simply has the next verse(s). There are fourteen verses so you get through several hymns.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    I think I have come to a conclusion. If I can find time I will try putting Malcolm Guite's Sonnets into a form where they can be used next year in an emergency. It will give me something different and short so I can allow time for silence.

    I am also going to see if I can persuade Fr next year that the Sunday evening ones will be lay-led. Honestly, he managed 3 out of 6, one he arranged alternative leadership and the other two he was late. It is actually less stressful for at least two of us if we know we are leading.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    I think I have come to a conclusion. If I can find time I will try putting Malcolm Guite's Sonnets into a form where they can be used next year in an emergency. It will give me something different and short so I can allow time for silence.

    I am also going to see if I can persuade Fr next year that the Sunday evening ones will be lay-led. Honestly, he managed 3 out of 6, one he arranged alternative leadership and the other two he was late. It is actually less stressful for at least two of us if we know we are leading.

    All of ours are lay led except for Palm Sunday which is an ecumenical do.
  • David wrote: »
    A few years ago, Revd Malcolm Guite, former chaplain of Girton College, produced a great set of Stations in the form of sonnets.

    Thank you for steering me here. I have done more exploring of Guite's blog and am finding his poetry magnificently rich. My family is planning to go to a local retreat centre where we can walk the stations outdoors on Good Friday. We'll use Guite's sonnets for our walk.
  • snowflakesnowflake Shipmate
    I too agree the sonnets are good, especially for the 4th station 😢
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    David wrote: »
    A few years ago, Revd Malcolm Guite, former chaplain of Girton College, produced a great set of Stations in the form of sonnets.

    Thank you for steering me here. I have done more exploring of Guite's blog and am finding his poetry magnificently rich. My family is planning to go to a local retreat centre where we can walk the stations outdoors on Good Friday. We'll use Guite's sonnets for our walk.

    You’re welcome. I’m pleased you’ll be using them tomorrow. I think they are extraordinary, while being quite succinct. It’s easy to use them for multiple years running and yet still get something new from every sonnet every time.
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    snowflake wrote: »
    I too agree the sonnets are good, especially for the 4th station 😢

    Malcolm made a short video for Maundy Thursday, which I enjoyed.
  • snowflakesnowflake Shipmate
    Unfortunately, it had already become Good Friday by the time I saw this link, but the video is much appreciated anyway.
  • Having now looked at the Sonnets, I, too, see how good they are, and how refreshingly different to the usual stuff.

    Too late for this year (although Our Place is holding the last in the series of Stations this evening), but certainly worth bearing in mind for next Lent - or perhaps around Holy Cross Day in September?

    Stations need not be confined to Lent...
  • MockingbirdMockingbird Shipmate Posts: 8
    Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 13 are non-scriptural and can be skipped.
  • Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 13 are non-scriptural and can be skipped.

    Any and all can be skipped. Is there some particular reason you want to skip some? If scripturality is the issue then use the Biblical version:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scriptural_Way_of_the_Cross
  • questioningquestioning Shipmate
    Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 13 are non-scriptural and can be skipped.

    I assumed this was to address the concern of the service taking too long.
  • questioningquestioning Shipmate
    We used Guite's sonnets for our outdoor stations of the cross walk today. All four of us (including two sons about 20 years old) found them very moving and appropriate. My husband said that it was one of the three most memorable and powerful Good Friday services he'd encountered.

    I was particularly struck by the way in which Guite weaves images and phrases from one station into the next. He also, in that best of Anglican fashion, holds the whole of the Christ event -- creation, incarnation, cross/resurrection, ascension -- together in these poetic reflections.
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    I told you you’d like them!
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