This meditation on the Stations of the Cross during the Pandemic has been provided by Rev. Dawne Taylor of Kamloops, British Columbia. We thank her for allowing us to share this beautiful teaching.
She suggests this Good Friday service at Kamloops United Church.
GOOD FRIDAY STATIONS OF THE CROSS
In the Roman Catholic traditions, churches mark Good Friday by walking the 14 Stations of the Cross with a prayer at each station. The stations take the Christian from the 1st station (Jesus before Pilate) to the 14th station (Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb) of his walk to the cross and then state-death by crucifixion/execution. Some of the stations are based on scripture; others come from tradition.
I recall a sentiment I felt some years back when reflecting on Good Friday – and it was simply “how the hell could this happen?” In this time of the covid-19 pandemic, I suspect some are also asking now: “how the hell could this happen?”
There is a particularly good YouTube video on the stations of the cross by Irish poet and activist, Padraig O’Tuama, produced especially for Good Friday 2020. I heartedly recommend you watch it. O’Tuama makes it very clear that Jesus is the power of love, and love in the face of power.
In keeping with the Good Friday tradition of the Stations of the Cross, and following either the Zoom service with Mount Paul or the KUC Youtube service with Rev. Michael Caveney, I invite you to metaphorically walk these 14 stations designed particularly for this covid-19 time. Stop at each station and say a brief prayer for those named:
Station 1: Health care, emergency responders, cleaners and other front line workers
Station 2: Other essential workers: grocery store clerks, pharmacy clerks, truck drivers, day care operators
Station 3: Those who have contracted covid-19, are hospitalized or in self-isolation; those grieving the death of a beloved one because of the virus
Station 4: Those laid off and suffering financial stress
Station 5: Small business owners who may go under during this time
Station 6: The particularly vulnerable – elders, those in seniors’ homes, the immune compromised
Station 7: Street people, the homeless, those in shelters and cramped spaces
Station 8: Those particularly isolated because they live alone; the lonely, depressed and mentally ill
Station 9: Those whose surgery and medical procedures have been postponed, possibly worsening their medical condition.
Station 10: Parents homeschooling children, and especially those with special needs children
Station 11: Abused women and children whose situation is exacerbated during this time of the pandemic
Station 12: Refugees around the world, already suffering and running for their lives, now confined to cramped and unsanitary quarters
Station 13: Isolated Indigenous and Inuit communities lacking medical care, good nutrition, adequate housing and safe drinking water
Station 14: Politicians and provincial health officers having to make difficult decisions, inform their constituents, and at the same time buoy spirits.
No doubt there are others significantly affected by the virus that you may wish to add to this prayer list.
Below is a Good Friday blessing from Jan Richardson in her book Circles of Grace. I hope it speaks to you in this holy season. It’s called “Song of the Winding Sheet”.
We never could have wished it to come to this, yet we call these moments holy as we
Holy the tending, holy the winding, holy the leaving as in the living.
Holy the silence, holy the stillness, holy the turning and returning to earth.
Blessed is the One who came in the name, blessed is the One who laid himself down,
blessed is the One emptied for us, blessed is the One wearing the shroud.
Holy the waiting, holy the grieving, holy the shadows and gathering night.
Holy the darkness, holy the hours, holy the hope turning toward light.
Blessings on this Holy and Poignant Day. Rev. Dawne Taylor