Stations of the Cross

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The Via crucis or procession through the Stations of the Cross originated in the Middle Ages, when there were often 7 or 9 stations. A 12-station text was published by Adrichomius in 1584 and a 14-station version was proposed in 1625 by A. Daza, adding the Deposition and Entombment; at times the Resurrection has been added as a 15th station. Some standardization was arrived at in 1731, when Clement XII attached an indulgence to the 14-station version. John Paul II introduced a "Scriptural Way of the Cross" on Good Friday 1991 which uses 14 stations drawn directly from the Gospels, beginning with Gethsemane instead of Pilate.

As usually heard in churches today, each station begins with the versicle Adoramus te, Christe, followed by a lesson, a verse proper to the station and a collect. A selection from the Stabat Mater's 20 verses accompanies the procession to the next station. A work directly inspired by the 14-station ceremony in the Roman colosseum is Franz Liszt's Via Crucis.

View the Wikipedia article on Stations of the Cross.


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