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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Stations of the Resurrection

By Cheryl Arnold

I was just a few months ago when I first heard about Stations of the Resurrection. While Stations of the Cross is a service that dates back to the early 16th century, Stations of the Resurrection is a newer service that is now included in the Anglican book Common Worship: Times and Seasons.

Father Sabino Palumbieri, a priest and professor in Rome, wanted to balance the emphasis on suffering in the Stations of the Cross with the positive, hopeful aspect of the Resurrection. In 1988, he proposed a new set of stations celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus along with some of his post-Resurrection appearances. He called these the Stations of the Resurrection, or the Via Lucis (The Way of Light). The first public celebration was in 1990, and since then these stations have been growing in popularity in liturgical churches.

There is some variation in the stations among denominations and even individual churches, but there are generally fourteen so that the Stations of the Resurrection are complementary to the Stations of the Cross. Each station typically includes a scripture reading, short meditation and prayer, and may be accompanied by artwork and music. Stations usually begin with the earthquake or empty tomb and end with Pentecost or Jesus appearing to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus. Some add readings from Revelation. The stations and corresponding scripture readings found in Common Worship are:

I The earthquake (Matthew 28:2-4) II Mary Magdalene finds the empty tomb (John 20:1,2) III The disciples run to the empty tomb (John 20:3-8) IV The angel appears to the women (Matthew 28:5-8 or Mark 16:3-8 or Luke 24:2-9) V Jesus meets the women (Matthew 28:9,10) VI The road to Emmaus (Luke 24:28-35) VII Jesus appears to the disciples (Luke 24:36-43 or John 20:19,20) VIII Jesus promises the Spirit (Luke 24:44-49) IX Jesus commissions the disciples (John 20:21-23) X Jesus breathes the Spirit in the upper room (John 20:22,23) XI Jesus reveals himself to Thomas (John 20:24-29) XII Jesus appears at the lakeside (John 21:9-13) XIII Jesus confronts Peter (John 21:15-19) XIV Jesus and the beloved disciple (John 21:20-23) XV Jesus appears to over five hundred at once (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) XVI Jesus commissions the disciples on the mountain (Matthew 28:16-20) XVII The ascension (Acts 1:3-11) XVIII Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11) XIX Jesus appears to Saul (Paul) (Acts 9:1-18 or 1 Corinthians 15:8)

One resource for including the Stations of the Resurrection in your devotional time this Easter season is the book Journey into Joy: Stations of the Resurrection by Andrew Walker, an Anglican priest. The book presents fourteen stations with scripture readings, poems by well-known poets, a meditation, and a prayer, and it is beautifully illustrated with classic artwork. In addition, some churches have shared their Stations of the Resurrection services on YouTube, with some including art and music in addition to the scripture readings and prayers. May your Easter season be a journey into the joy of the Resurrection!

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