Stations of the Cross
In this devotion, people meditate on the suffering of Jesus Christ; it is also known as the "Way of the Cross." With fourteen stations, each with a separate theme, the people walk from the first to the last, with some singing between each station, usually from some version of the hymn, At the Cross.
The Stations of Cross were popularized in Western Europe by the Franciscans, especially in the thirteenth and fourteenth century. They are one means of keeping a traditional emphasis on the humanity of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, individuals pray the Stations alone, one by one. Sometimes, small groups pray it together, walking from station to station. There is no set form of the Stations; practice varies from place to place, as is customary with popular devotions.
Our usual practice here is to sing a verse of At the Cross. Then the priest announces the specific station, for example, "Christ is presented before Pontius Pilate." Next, the priest sings, "We adore you, O Christ; and we praise you." All genuflect and sing in response, "For by your holy cross, you redeemed the world." The priest then comments on the specific station. All pray in silence. Then the priest says a prayer related to that station. All answer Amen. All then sing the next verse of At the Cross and move on to the next station.
At San Rocco Oratory, we pray the Stations together every Friday evening during Lent, at 7 p.m. After that, we pray Vespers together.