File Away for Next Lent: Neighborhood Way of the Cross

cross

I would have shared this with you earlier, but I didn’t hear about it until Lent was over! So, file this one away for next Lent.

I recently heard about a parish that did the Stations of the Cross during Lent through their neighborhood, arranging to stop at 14 pre-selected homes where each Station was prayed. I think this is a wonderful idea and a way to get families involved in a traditional Lenten practice. I can envision the following:

  • a large, lightweight wooden cross to be carried throughout, beginning with the priest, deacon, or other designated leader of the prayer and then continuing with a representative of each of the 14 homes carrying the cross to the next destination.
  • a leader of song (with proper portable PA system) to lead refrains of “Were You There?,” “Stabat Mater,” “Jesus Remember Me,” and/or other refrains as the crowd proceeds from one home to another.
  • a large poster of each Station to be displayed at each house. I would use ones at least 24” x 36”.
  • at each home, the cross would be accepted by someone from the family/household and held on the front steps/porch/lawn/stoop. Another family member would hold up the poster as the prayers are prayed.
  • a moment of silence at each Station.
  • perhaps the Stations would begin and end at the church, thus decreasing the number of families/households needed to be arranged ahead of time to 12 instead of 14.

What else can you envision happening in such an approach to the Stations of the Cross?

About Joe Paprocki 2156 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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