Friday, April 14, 2006
The Living Stations of the Cross
[Ok -- breaking the hiatus here for a bit ... ]
Tuesday of Holy Week every year the students put on an ecumenical Stations of the Cross across the University campus, starting with Jesus being condemned on the State House steps, and ending up with the burial in the graveyard of historic Trinity Cathedral.
Like in years past, this was an ecumenical event, sponsored by the Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Epsicopalian and Presbyterian student groups. Yes, Catholics are the largest participants. This year there were more Protestants though. A very powerful evangelical witness!
More pictures from this year's event.
Turnout was decent. It's always interesting to note how passersby react. A few passing drivers honked and waved. One rolled his window down and shouted, "You gotta be kidding!" Pedestrians just stared. One girl said, "Oh yeah! The stations of the cross!" When invited to join in, she said, "But I'm not Catholic!" "Nor am I!" said the one inviting her, the Lutheran campus minister ... :-) At the student union, blinds on the second floor windows were pushed aside and faces pressed against the glass as the procession passed by. Several students did join in for a few stations.
A Gamecock reporter scoured the crowd getting reactions. The story that was put together was so incompetent as to be hilarious. "Students act out stages of 'Cross'?" Good Friday as a Vatican declared holiday? Where does one begin! Still, any coverage is good coverage!
It always starts out feeling a bit like a stroll through the park. People chat loudly, the atmosphere is casual. But slowly, as the power of the story seeps through, as the repetitive collective genuflection bodily speaks to us, as the words of the Stabat Mater hit home, the atmosphere becomes more somber. More prayerful. Unlike watching Mel Gibson's "Passion" -- where the power of the medium tears our emotions out -- this is more subtle. It's communal prayer. Walking in the footsteps of the Lord, taking part, in a way, in the salvation of the world.
Adoramus te Christe et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
We adore you O Christ and bless you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.