The Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrow, winds along the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City. It is the traditional route and follows the way of Jesus as he carried his cross from Pilot’s Judgement Hall to Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion.
Along this route are the Stations of the Cross, where each station or place, marks an event as Jesus walked along the way.
On Saturday 31st January, we walked along the Via Delarosa, entering Jerusalem through St Stephens’ gate and stopped a while by the Pool of Bethesda. The day was sunny and bright, it was remarkable to feel so close to that day over two thousand years ago. But in the midst of walking along this route, there was a discovery of ourselves, our belief and our Christianity.
Through the streets we walked, in a group at times, and at times as individuals, with other people, tourists, local people, shop sellers. What had happened here to Jesus, could just have happened yesterday. It was in the midst of this life of a busy, bustling city where crowds gathered that saw the mood of Jerusalem change from a welcome to Jesus who had healed and performed miracles to the scourging, agony of carrying the cross and to the crucifixion.
Lost for words I walked the streets, I saw the sights, the people and the gifts for the tourists who cared to stop and to buy. The readings that we shared together at each of the stations are shortened and held as memories of that time, in that place and on that day. At some of the stations we hear about those in the crowds who helped, who are reminders of our own humanity for others who are suffering.
At each station Bishop Graham read a passage from the Bible and prayers were said at each place using www.oremus.org.
Jesus is condemned to death.
‘ Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium‘ John 18:28
‘Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.’ John 19:1,
‘Then they handed Him over to them to be crucified.’ John 19:16
‘ Give us courage to take up our cross and follow you.’
Jesus falls for the first time.
‘He would console me, and give me back my life, is far from me.’ Lamentations 1:16
‘All you that look and see; is there any sorrow like the sorrow that afflicts me?‘ Lamentations 1:12
Let us never fail to call out for all those who suffer.
‘ They enlisted a passer by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry His Cross. Mark 15:23
Those who come after me, take up the cross. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
‘ May the Lord’s face shine upon you.‘ Numbers 6:25
Nothing is too big or too small for us to give or offer.
The chapel of the Little Sisters of Jesus is now thought to be on the site of Veronica’s house.
Jesus falls a second time, at the place of the death notice.
‘With their affliction, He was afflicted. In His love and in His pity He redeemed them.‘ Isaiah 63:9
Help us to turn from our ways that suffering may cease.
Jesus meets the women.
‘ Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me. Weep rather over yourselves and your children.
Luke 23: 28
Help us to know when to grieve and when to act.
‘ I have come to do your will, O God.’ Psalm 40:8
When the shouting dies, we may still walk beside you.
‘From the sole of the feet to the head are bruises and sores and bleeding wounds.’ Isaiah 1:6
Help us to remember there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from your love.
‘They crucified Jesus there with criminals, one on his right and one on his left.‘ Luke 23:33
Clothe us in your spirit, that we may bring love to those who do not know you.
Be with all those who need comfort and for those whose homes are broken.
In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Anointing Stone marks where Jesus was laid after death.
Jesus dies and his body is given to his mother.
‘It is finished, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.‘ Luke 23:46
‘Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the council and a follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took the body of Jesus down, The mother of Jesus was there.’ Luke 25:53
And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a stone before the entrance of the tomb.’ Matt 27:59
Give us, we pray, the courage and will to persevere and the spirit to know and love you.
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These web pages are part of the Faith Goes Walkabout family of web sites. Designed, produced and edited by the Reverend Sue Martin of the Norwich Diocese. Supporting the work of the Diocese and communities of faith in the East of England.