Members of Elon community mark Holy Week by walking stations of the cross

Christians at Elon University gathered in the Sacred Space inside the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ with a noontime Catholic devotion. 

Members of the Elon community recounted the last days and hours of Jesus Christ on Friday, moving around the Sacred Space inside the Truitt Center for Religious and pausing at 14 stations to reflect. 

Each of the stations offered an opportunity for those gathered to walk the stations of the cross to also consider the injustices they see in the world, and to consider how they might assist those who are without help and without hope. The Good Friday devotion was led by Father Peter Tremblay and Catholic Campus Ministry.

Tremblay said that the active devotional, with members following a cross that is carried from station to station helps personalize the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ. "This has everything to do with trying to put myself as close to what Jesus experienced as possible," Tremblay said before the event. "It becomes a little easier to go from the head to the heart."

At each station, those participating said in unison, "Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world."

Moving through the stations of the cross stems from the practice of early Christian pilgrims who would travel to the Holy Land and walk the ways of Jesus as he went from Jerusalem to the Mount of the Skull, Golgotha, where he was crucified. The practice evolved to where stations of the cross ceremonies now take place within a church or any public gathering space. 

At each station on Friday, a reader offered a selection of scripture that helped those in attendance recount the close of Christ's life, followed by a joint prayer for help in drawing wisdom and compassion from Christ's life and sacrifices.

Trung "T" Huynh-Duc, director of Catholic life at Elon, said that each of the reflections helped link the suffering of Jesus to injustices and suffering taking place around the world. "It's a significant day as we experience the love of Jesus Christ, and it's also a chance for personal reflection," he said. 

Along with Friday's stations of the cross event, Elon's Catholic Campus Ministry will hold an Easter mass at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 21, in Alumni Gym.  

Elon University’s main campus is closed Monday, April 22, following the Easter Sunday holiday.