Members of the Elon community observe Good Friday with Stations of the Cross reenactment

Students, faculty and staff at Elon University gathered on Good Friday to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ with a devotional journey through the heart of Elon's campus.

Stations of the Cross reenactment in the Numen Lumen Pavilion on April 7, 2023.

Despite rain moving the reenactment indoors to the Numen Lumen Pavilion, members of the Elon community gathered to take part in the annual Stations of the Cross ceremony led by Elon’s Catholic Campus Ministry.

One of the most ancient traditions in the Christian faith, the Stations of the Cross are a series of scenes commemorating the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ through scripture readings. The 14 stations — beginning with the Jesus being condemned to death and ending with Jesus being laid in his tomb — were displayed through the Numen Lumen Pavillon.

At each station, a volunteer carried the wooden cross, representing the burden taken on by Christ for the sins of all Christians.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to gather here this afternoon to enter into a very ancient tradition in our Christian faith,” said Father Peter Tremblay, associate chaplain for Catholic Life.

“Going back to ancient times, when remembering the Lord’s Passion, the faithful would gather and walk the various steps that Christ walked and remember the moments that he experienced along the way from when he first received the cross to when he was crucified,” Tremblay added.

Stations of the Cross reenactment in Numen Lumen, April 7, 2023.

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.

“We pray for all those gathered here today,” those in attendance recited in unison during the 14th station, recognizing the burial of Christ. “That we may live a faith that acts and be messengers of the good news as we continue our personal journey. May we find strength, guidance, peace and support from our faith and from each other.”

Elon’s Catholic Campus Ministry will hold Easter Mass on Sunday, April 9, at 11 a.m. in Alumni Gym. Elon’s main campus is closed Monday, April 10, following Easter Sunday.