Friday, February 15, 2008

Stations of the Cross

This evening, my family again attended the parish Stations of the Cross, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Although I didn't grow up participating in this devotion, I have come to love it since I've learned about it. My sweet little boy, who is an altar server, was happy to be one of the candle bearers during the Stations. The candles they carry are actually pretty heavy... big brass (beautiful) things with the danger of fire at the top. I noticed this evening that it was actually a pretty hard thing for those two little boys to carry and hold those candles during the entire 14 stations. They did well. I was thinking 'preparation for the priesthood'... my husband was thinking that it was great preparation for standing at attention at West Point for 45 minutes for inspection in the ranks with a 12 pound weapon.


Scelata said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog.
I love Stations as well, and also did not grow up with it (I'm from the catechetically "lost generation.")
I'm fairly new to my parish, and I have heard old timers complaining that they used to have Benediction after Stations but they're "not allowed any more."
Do you know anything about that?
It seems like a natural pairing of devotion and liturgy to me.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

lvschant said...

Perhaps I can get an answer for you from our pastor. I’ve only been at our current parish for about 2 years… the Stations have been done this way both years that I know of and I gather they have been that way for some time.

I don’t understand why the Benediction after Stations wouldn’t be allowed. After the Stations, our pastor has a very nice Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (with incense), this week he actually read an excerpt from a writing of Pope Benedict’s that encouraged Eucharistic adoration. Then, we did the Benediction with Divine praises. Not having grown up with this devotion, it is the only form I have experienced (that I can recall well -- the only other time was so many years ago).

Our pastor also made sure that parishioners were aware of the teaching on plenary indulgences and the requirements before the Stations, and mentioned that we should pray for the intentions of the Pope during our prayers during the Eucharistic adoration…

Let me e-mail him your question and see if he can give us some references and printed material that you might be able to use in case you want to pursue it…

I enjoy your blog very much (I nominated you for a Catholic blog award).

Scelata said...

I did not express that very well.
Apparently, in the day they had all-day Exposition on First Fridays, (we still do,) which continued during Stations, with Benediction after Stations.
Our pastor's objection (which I think is valid,) is to moving around the nave, with our focus on the Staions, rather than on Christ in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar.
I think there must surely be some way to respectfully repose the Sacrament for the duration of Stations, and then have a shor period of Adoration with Benediction after Stations, but TPTB at our parish have not figured it out yet.
And much of it may have to do with our aging population (we're in an urban area,) and their reluctance to stay out "too late." The expect Benediction on the days we have Exposition at 6:00 pm sharp, and waiting until approx. 7:50 would bring a slew of (anonymous,) complaint letters to the rectory ;o)

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

lvschant said...

OK... that makes sense. I would agree that exposition shouldn't be during the Stations. I found something that may help in the book -- p. 254 #691: ... b) a lengthy period of exposition need not end with Benediction, although the Eucharistic Blessing should be given at some time during adoration. c) When exposition is to be terminated, for example, before a Mass, when he reposes the Eucharist, the celebrant wears an alb, or cassock and surplice and a white stole. If he is about to celebrate Mass, this act should be distinct from the liturgy, and he should return to the sacristy to put on the chasuble and then enter in procession.

It seems to me that, as you suggested, the Blessed Sacrament could be reposed, then the Stations could be done and then Benediction.

We begin the Stations at 5:30 pm and are usually done with everything no later than about 6:30 or so (maybe a little bit later, but not by much).

At the very least, you could have Benediction after the Stations on Fridays that aren't the First Friday of the month.

Michael Tigue said...

I noticed you all were interested in the Stations of the Cross. I thought you might find my book quite helpful. You can read a few of the meditations in the book preview.

God Bless,

Michael Tigue

lvschant said...

Thanks very much, Michael... it sounds very interesting...