Virtual Stations of the Cross

4/19/2011

Particularly popular during the Lenten season, a virtual Stations of the Cross journey is available year around through the Spirituality and the Arts section of the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston, website, www.stpaulshouston.org.

 

The artwork accompanying the meditations was dedicated to St. Paul’s’ worship and music ministries in the Spring of 2006 by their creator, Thomas Hardin. Now an architect in London, he was at the time a Rice University student and a member of St. Paul’s Choir.

 

This gift was combined on the St. Paul’s website with devotional text written and compiled by Rev. Shelli Williams as she conducted the Lenten study, “The Way of the Cross: A Journey through the Stations of the Cross.”

 

The Stations of the Cross generally refers to a devotion that originated in the fourth century, A.D., when pilgrims flocked to the Holy Land from all parts of the world. The most popular place they visited was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which had been built by the Emperor Constantine in 335 A.D. over what was believed to have been the tomb of Jesus, explained Rev. Williams.

 

Over the years, the route of pilgrim processions was accepted as the way that Jesus had walked to his death, becoming known the “Via Dolorosa,” theSorrowful Way,” or “Way of the Cross.” The “Stations” developed as these pilgrims honored places where events were likely to have taken place. Since most Christians could not journey to Jerusalem to walk the Via Dolorosa, the depiction of the Stations became a spiritual tool in place of this pilgrimage.

 

St. Paul’s Stations of the Cross, virtual and otherwise, joins many produced by Roman Catholics through the centuries and a growing number of Protestant churches in recent years.

 

At 5501 Main Street, St. Paul’s is on the corner of Main and Binz/Bissonnet, across from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The church is within one block of both Museum District MetroRail stops, and free parking is available in two lots behind the church on Fannin Street. The website is www.stpaulshouston.org.