Making the Stations of the Cross is a long time prayer tradition which traces the steps of Jesus’ final hours on earth, his Passion and Death on the Cross. The Stations of the Cross began in the Middle Ages, as an actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem to retrace Jesus’ steps to Calvary, and was most often done during Lent. Since most people could not make this long trip to Israel, churches began making painted or carved images of the 14 stops Jesus made on the “Via Dolorosa”, the sorrowful way to his death on the Cross. Today, these 14 Stations of the Cross are found in almost every Catholic Church in the world.
A communal recitation and meditations of the Stations of the Cross are often offered in Lent, on Good Friday, at most Catholic churches, including at St. Julia Church and St. Joseph Church. However, we are invited to make the Stations of the Cross at any time during the year, often before or after Mass, or sometime during the week if the church is open. Some have added a fifteenth station, the Resurrection, without which the Passion would be meaningless. This station is observed by kneeling before the Tabernacle on the altar which holds the Eucharist, the living Body of Christ.