Students, faculty and staff at Elon University gathered on Good Friday to reflect on the death of Jesus Christ with a devotional journey through the heart of Elon's campus.
Members of the Elon community gathered on Good Friday, April 15 in solemn reflection of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ through the reading of scriptures and scenes from the Stations of the Cross.
These scenes are usually displayed on the walls of churches, but each of the 14 stations – beginning with condemnation of Jesus and ending with his burial – was laid out on Elon’s campus beginning at Fonville Fountain, leading around Young Commons and ending in front of Alamance Building.
The path walked through campus was identical in distance to the length walked by Christ (about 2,000 feet) from Praetorium where the Roman soldiers placed the cross on his shoulders to Golgotha where he was crucified.
From station to station, a representative carried the wooden cross hoping to actualize the burden taken on by Jesus for the sins of all Christians.
“To put yourself in that position, to feel a little bit of what Jesus felt while also being prayerful and mindful of the event itself, is a powerful and spiritual experience,” said Cole Picca, vice president of Catholic Campus Ministry.
“Good Friday is a sad day … however, we celebrate it because it makes Easter that much more joyful when you believe he rose from the dead after being crucified,” Picca added.
When arriving at each station, attendees said, “We adore you O Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world,” recognizing the sacrifices made by Christ. A verse from the Bible and joint prayer were said at each of the 14 stations.
“As we commemorate this afternoon the Stations of the Cross, I invite you all to enter into prayer and beneficial mediation,” said Father Peter Trembley, associate chaplain for Catholic Life.
The tradition of visiting and praying in front of each station and meditating on the week of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection originates from the practice of early Christian pilgrims who visited the scenes of the events in Jerusalem and walked the traditional route from the supposed location of Pilate’s house to Golgotha.
“Lord Jesus Christ, you let yourself be nailed to the Cross, accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering, the destruction of your body and your dignity,” those in attendance recited simultaneously during the 11th station, recognizing Jesus being nailed to the cross.
“May we never flee from what we are called to do. Help us to remain faithful to you. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you.”
Elon’s Catholic Campus Ministry will hold Easter Mass on Sunday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to noon at Alumni Gym. Elon’s main campus is closed Monday, April 18, following Easter Sunday.