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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stations of the Cross

Part of formation demands that you observe the seasons of the Church and if you are leading others, you would do well for their soul if you assist in their observation of the Church seasons as well.

But I''m sure you already knew that.

There are lots of things to do with Lent. One that I've done is Stations of the Cross, so here are a few ideas on how to do them:

1. Scan pictures into your laptop and do a power point. Play music in the background for a prayer experience. You could use just pictures or pictures followed by a short meditation, read or on the power point.

2. Play music in the background-nice, soft, reflective music and have them draw the stations. I would give them bibles so that they can thumb through or use a book of stations for ideas

3. One year my crew, who many were in the drama club, decided to act out the stations for the parish. We put up a sheet, and the actors would post in a scene and we'd shine a big light from behind them so that a shadow appeared to the congregation on the sheet. We would click the light on and off in between stations and had a reader give a meditation during each station. The kids wrote it, prepared it, directed it, and got quite into it. The kid who played Jesus was particularly affected as he began to reflect on what it must have been like for the Man he was portraying.

Here are some resources for the Stations. BTW, the Stations are not a liturgical event, they are a prayer, so don't get all caught up in doing the "right" stations. Like the Rosary, there are various ways to pray the stations. We have our usual 14, but there are many out there that use other images and scriptures, some starting with the Last Supper.

Stations By Newman but please use these carefully. Newman is wordy. And deep. Might be best for personal reflection.
Mary's Way of the Cross. Seen from Mary's perspective.
John Paul II's Way of the Cross
The Way of the Cross for Young Christians (Generally I'm wary of 23rd Publications, but if I believe this is a pretty good book for teenagers)
Variety from Creative Communications Sister said sometimes you need to peruse Creative Communications like you do 23rd Pub, but she did like some of their Lenten materials. So does Amy Welborn, apparently. So, there's two thumbs up there.
Speaking of Amy, I'm always trying to send folks over to her. Her stuff is outstanding.

Please share your ideas with the rest of us. Because really, isn't youth ministry really about taking each others' ideas? !!

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Blogger Youth Minister said...

Thoughts on your last paragraph.

What you say is true BUT it should be noted that there is a value in staying with the traditional way of praying the Stations of the Cross. Historically the stations have been the following of Christ in his carrying of the Cross to his death: it’s based on the traditional pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the stations as they are set up there, following the path Christ walked to Calvary. A helpful guide:
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy Principles and Guidleines

11:23 AM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

ok, again. It is not a liturgical rite. It is a pious form of prayer that we are able to do during Lent.

There is not a law stating exactly which ones to use. If you start with the Last Supper and meditate on that is that bad? Of course not.

Don't make this into something it's not.

Pardon my directness, but I get rather frustrated when the "laws must be followed" attitude override what the laws were intended for: freedom, not slavery.

The resources I've listed are good resources. Shoot, if Sister is going to put them out there, they are good. I'm not one to question her in the least. But I've used many of the ones she's given us, so I can also say that they are good.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Youth Minister said...

I wasn't critical of you ideas or resources. I just wanted to give another perspective.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Tunin said...

Greetings from Medjugorje,

I was trying to find the Stations of the Cross and got across your blog. I just wanted to say "Hats off to you!".


4:44 PM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

I know. But it came across as tho there was something wrong with doing "untraditional" Stations. There isn't. They just aren't the exact ones that everyone has been doing for years and years and years. That doesn't make it invaluable, just different.

It gets easy to be narrow minded in our effort to follow the Church, but neither can we afford to not be open to other things that are legitimate. Not like you can't leave your opinion, but I'd also caution folks to not get to uptight about the "laws".

I just wouldn't want this to turn into whether there is a "right" way to do the Stations and a "wrong" way. They are a popular form of prayer, not liturgy.

There ARE creepy prayers out there, but I wouldn't advocate those. That'd be...creepy.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good point TCYM that Stations are a popular devotion and, therefore, are not subject to the stricter principles of liturgy. The development of popular devotions and prayers necessitates a certain liberty to allow the faithful to express their faith as they see fit,

Just to be clear, however, there could be (and there are) "wrong" ways, and even spiritually dangerous ways, of popular forms of prayer and devotion.

Just because something is not liturgy does not mean the Church is wholly unconcerned with the content or method of prayer and devotion. (For example, I refer you to the Holy See's repeated interventions, admonitions, and cautions against forms of meditation stemming from the Eastern religions and "New Age" spirituality.) Wherever a fledgling devotion or prayer can tend to endanger the faithful's souls and salvation (albeit unbeknownst to them), the Church will intervene.

Sure, it's hard to imagine this could happen with an alternate from of the stations of the Cross. If it did, that would be rather creepy, and, as you said, you're not supporting creepy here.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I was looking for a creative and fun way to do the stations of the cross and came along your page..

I have to prepare a Youth Activity using the stations of the cross but it is for teeangers in high school and it must only take abotu an hour. I want to make it fun and interesting and somehting they will rememebr and enjoy...any ideas you can help me out with?..I'd really appreciate it

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What you say is true BUT it should be noted that there is a value in staying with the traditional way of praying the Stations of the Cross."

The value here is that the kids will know what it is that the grownups are doing, if they happen to come to a normal Stations of the Cross. If all we ever teach the kids is "be creative," they will feel entirely lost when they attend "non-creative" functions in Church. I do believe that one thing kids crave is to belong, and to know what's going on around them. Being creative is great, too, but let's make sure our kids know how to fit in with the rest of the congregation, and don't feel totally alienated from their elders, with not knowing the normal way that the Stations of the Cross, or the Rosary, or the Angelus, or even the Sacrament of Reconciliation, are done. (I had a kid a few years ago who couldn't go to Confession on a Saturday, because there wasn't a fire for her to burn her sins in - she had been so "creative liturgy" immersed that she had no idea how to react when presented with the real thing in every day life.

4:10 PM  

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