Formalized in the 15th century as a Christian spiritual devotion or practice, the roots and antecedents of the “stations of the cross” go back to the earliest Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem in the 5th century. Each of the 14 stations focuses on an event — some biblically based and others more legendary — of Jesus’ final days: from false arrest to “trial” in a kangaroo kourt to “intense interrogation” to execution — Jesus’ “passion” or suffering. While almost all Catholic churches have some version of these 14 stations along the walls of the sanctuary, other denominations — such as the Episcopalians (Anglicans) and Lutherans — occasionally participate in this form of Christian spirituality, especially during Lent.

This Lenten season various ministries of University Church will make contemporary “stations of the cross,” current renderings of the via dolorosa or “sorrowful way” of not only Christ Jesus but also of the various peoples we continue to “crucify” in our world, if not directly then indirectly through our policies of action and inaction. Each Sunday of Lent new “stations of the cross” will appear in the chancel area. Some will be accompanied by that Sunday’s Affirmation of Faith; others will not. Please feel free and take prayerful time before and after worship service to go up to the chancel, be confronted by the contemporary “crucified,” and for six weeks to travel the “sorrowful way” and our congregation’s faithful responses to it.