Scriptural Way of the Cross

The Scriptural Way of the Cross or Scriptural Stations of the Cross is a modern version of the ancient Christian, especially Catholic, devotion called the Stations of the Cross. This version was inaugurated on Good Friday 1991 by Pope John Paul II. The Scriptural version was not intended to invalidate the traditional version. Rather it was meant to add nuance to an understanding of the Passion.[1]

The Way of the Cross, celebrated at the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday.
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Main article: Stations of the Cross

Out of the fourteen traditional Stations of the Cross, only eight have clear scriptural foundation. To provide a version of this devotion more closely aligned with the biblical accounts, Pope John Paul II introduced a new form of the devotion, called the Scriptural Way of the Cross, on Good Friday 1991. He celebrated that form many times, often but not exclusively at the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday.[2][3]

In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI approved this set of stations for meditation and public celebration.

Before each station (all genuflect while reciting):

Minister: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:36-41

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him. Mark 14: 43-46

When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.” Luke 22: 66-71

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But Peter denied in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly. Matthew 26: 69-75

The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pontius Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed…. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas and handed Jesus over to be crucified. Mark 15: 1-5, 15

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