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Stations of the Cross

Recently, a couple of people asked me if Pope John Paul II had changed the Stations of the Cross in 1991.  They had been reading in one of the many lenten prayer books that available and it said that Pope John Paul II introduced a new set of Stations in 1991.

Pope John Paul II did not change the traditional Stations of the Cross.  He did introduce an alternative set of meditations.  In fact, almost every year since then the pope has chosen a person to write a new set of meditations for the Stations of the Cross to be used on Good Friday in Rome.  You can see the meditations for each year on the Vatican web site at http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/documents/index_via-crucis_en.html  Please note that not all of the them are available in English.  A couple of the meditations written over the years have caught on and are used by others.  I believe the set produced in 1991 may be one of them because it is entirely scripturally based (see the 1991 Stations at http://www.usccb.org/nab/stations.htm).

There are many versions of the traditional Stations of the Cross available.  You are free to choose the version you like for your own prayer.  When I was in Washington DC for seminary I would walk over to the Franciscan Holy Land and walk their outdoor Stations of the Cross.  I did not take a prepared set of the Stations with me.  I simply walked to each Station, said the name of the traditional Station and prayed about what that Station meant to me.

If you would like to read more about the traditional Stations of the Cross check out http://www.renewaloffaith.org/basics/prayer/prayer.htm#stations.

If you would like to read a little more about the mediations being composed for this year check out http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1101192.htm 

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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