A unique Stations of the Cross for pandemic days has been installed around the campus of Grace Church in Gainesville.
Rector Stuart Higginbotham wrote to the parish, “While we grieve that we cannot pray inside our building in our typical ways, we also realize that the Spirit gives us new insights into ways that we can understand our lives as being united to Christ. The Stations of the Cross are a deeply powerful practice that asks us to bring our whole selves – the grief, the confusion, the searching – and lay it alongside the journey Jesus took in his own great moments of suffering.”
Visitors scan a QR code at each cross to access the prayers located online. There are interactive components at certain stations, including walking Grace Church’s new labyrinth, journaling, and drawing in sand. All stations include invitations for reflection. The prayers are recorded by parishioners so you can listen as you read. Grace is also working to create Spanish audio recordings to add to each station.
“The entire installation is an opportunity for people in the parish and people in the community to identify and connect their real experience of suffering during the pandemic with Christ’s example of suffering that had a transformation aspect and outcome to it,” says Dr. Cynthia Park, senior associate rector at Grace Church. “A part of our human existence is to seek for a deeper meaning. We hope that walking the Stations of the Cross offers multiple opportunities to embody the process of finding meaning in this.”
All are invited to come experience the Stations of the Cross and invite others who you know are seeking and wondering at this time. If you are unable to come in person, explore the prayers and reflections completely online, beginning with the first station.
The first Station is located on the front porch of the church, under a tree near the bottom of the bell tower. A map to all 14 Stations can be found here.