Stations of the Cross – a new perspective

Added about 6 years ago by Sacristy Press

I stand in the turmoil, my load laid down
to watch the best and worst of humankind
thronging the narrow street

Ahead of a busy Easter period, we wanted to share Kevin Carey’s reflections on his newest work, At the Foot of the Cross: Reflections for Good Friday.

When I sat down to write a set of reflections on the Stations of The Cross specifically for Good Friday 2010 I found myself almost overwhelmed by the weight of my own Passiontide history, itself only a scruple compared with the weight of a tradition of piety in words, painting, sculpture and music almost entirely based on the Synoptic tradition and, necessarily, denying itself any hint of Easter; but I found myself deeply stirred by a growing consciousness of the Johannine tradition, reflected to a considerable extent in Luke, which speaks of how Jesus never lost control of his situation. I therefore resolved to write two reflections for each station, the first, more familiar, based on Mark and Matthew, the second Johannine and perhaps a little challenging, sometimes verging on the triumphalist. Some will find the two accounts uncomfortably dissonant but I hope that many will find them profoundly contrapuntal.

These reflections, with a period of silence after each, were written to occupy two hours. At their first delivery, each was followed by a half verse of the Stabat Mater (Attrib. Todi, Trans. Caswell; Tune Stabat Mater) and while the material of the reflections and hymn did not correspond, it was felt that the music broke up the continuous speech otherwise only interrupted by periods of silence. The insertion of the hymn necessarily shortened the periods of silence.

Ideally, the two “voices” should be taken by different readers, one gentle in tone for the Synoptic voice, the other more definite in tone for the Johannine.

Kevin Carey

Each Station of the Cross has been beautifully illustrated by Kevin Sheehan, providing an ideal contemplative guide for Good Friday. In addition, they are designed to be performed in small groups (families, prayer or bible study groups, or as an accompaniment to a traditional church service) and can add a new element to your Holy Week devotions.

At the Foot of the Cross is available now for just £6.99. We hope you’ll enjoy this volume as much as we enjoyed producing it! Let us know, on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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