In years past, Caledonia United Methodist Church hosted two special Holy Week activities. The need for physical-distancing prompted their pastor to design a new walk for Lent 2020.
Lent is a season of long-standing traditions for many individuals and churches. For years, Caledonia United Methodist Church has observed Holy Week with a Stations of the Cross activity on Good Friday and a Prayer Walk on Holy Saturday.
But 2020 is a custom-breaking, extraordinary time. “When thinking about our present moment in the world,” says Caledonia’s pastor, “I thought that combining those two traditions would be a way that folks could have a meaningful Holy Week experience.” Rev. Elizabeth Hurd adds, “It also is compliant with our Stay Home, Stay Safe order.” Further, she expanded the original experience by including activities for children to the Stations of the Cross.
She also added one new rule. “Anyone who does this activity should just make sure that they are staying six feet away from others as they’re out on a walk!” she says. “Although we cannot gather for Holy Week together, we can still participate in Holy Week activities as individuals and family groups.” The Stay at Home, Stay Safe caution still allows walks, bike rides, car rides.
Hurd continues, “We can be outdoors, so long as we stay six feet apart from others who are also outdoors.” God’s creation is an important element she purposely emphasizes. “Being outdoors, in God’s creation, connects us to God, and reminds us that God made the Earth and everything in it,” she explains. “During Holy Week, we can remember God’s beautiful creation; we remember the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.”
Pastor Elizabeth recently introduced her Stations of the Cross on Facebook, and friends were eager to know more. In the document she shared online, she talks about the Roman Catholic devotional practice. “The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step devotion. Each station focuses on a specific Good Friday event. There are specific prayers to say at each station, and different devotions to remember Jesus’ last day on Earth.”
Each station includes a traditional prayer and an image for meditation. “As you meditate, focus on the image, and just breathe and be with God. Try to clear your mind so that God may speak to you,” Elizabeth instructs. She has included a children’s prayer and activity for each station in case young disciples are participating. “Make this a meaningful outing for your family, by having fun and talking about the importance of Good Friday,” she concludes.
Click here for a downloadable pdf, that serves as your spiritual map for Stations of the Cross and start walking!