Though not as elaborate as many of the Good Friday processions in Guatemala City or Antigua, the procession in Flores was lovely nonetheless. In the Catholic tradition, the Stations of the Cross are a series of pictures or statues that tell the story of Jesus death on the cross. Each station represents a person that Jesus meets along the way or an action along the way such as falling under the weight of the cross. There are 14 stations and some include the Resurrection as the 15 station. Catholic churches generally display images of the Stations of the Cross around the inside walls of the church. Usually, persons pause at each station to say a prayer or to reflect on that part of the journey of Jesus. Sometimes the stations are called the Way of the Cross. Many have written modern day stations that depict a similar story of suffering in our world today. An example of stations of the cross for children can be found at http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/child/stations/02.html. Images of modern day stations can be found at https://www.google.com.gt/search?q=modern+day+stations+of+the+cross&hl=es-419&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ii1XUc3yLpO49gTB2YGgAQ&ved=0CFYQsAQ&biw=1441&bih=647.
In Guatemala, it iis traditional for persons to carry statues that depict the story of Jesus on the way to Calvary in a procession around the city. Places are selected along the way where the group stops to pray. In Flores, the stations are in people's doorways. The household sets up a simple altar with cloths and flowers and some depiction of Jesus in his time of suffering. It is a great honor to carry a statue or to have the procession stop at your house.
As I watched and participated, I noted that some persons followed along for the entire procession while others waiting in various locations for the procession to pass. Those waiting would participate at that station or perhaps join in for the remaining walk. It struck me that on the real day of Jesus carrying the cross, this very same thing happened. At one station Jesus meets Mary his Mother. To me that means that Mary was somewhere along the path and was not one who had followed Jesus along the entire length of the road. Perhaps each year we meet Jesus where we are, somewhere along his way and ours, and participate most deeply in one of the stations.
This year, the station of Simon helping Jesus to carry the cross, had the most significance for me. My ministry has involved accompanying those who suffer and attempting to ease their burdens. Which station had the most meaning for you?
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012