LEWISTOWN - The Lewistown community will have the chance to experience the walk Christ took to the cross on Good Friday.
The Lewistown Ministerium's annual Cross Walk will expand this year to include a longer walk through the streets of Lewistown, following a tradition that dates back to the fourth century in Jerusalem.
The community Stations of the Cross service will begin at noon Friday inside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 106 N. Dorcas St., Lewistown.
Sentinel file photo
Participants in the Lewistown Minsterium’s annual Stations of the Cross service walk through the streets of Lewistown during Good Friday 2011. This year during the walk, people will stop to pray at various locations through town.
During the half-hour service, town clergy will lead prayers for 14 different stations or stops that Christ made along the Via Dolorosa, or Way of the Cross.
At about 12:30 p.m., people will gather outside Sacred Heart School to begin the Cross Walk, an outdoor experience of the indoor church service.
In this phase, the crowd will carry a wooden cross through town, stopping at various sites, buildings and offices along the way. Leaders will take turns saying prayers for the service or ministry offered by the agencies.
"The crosses or sufferings people bear can be represented in the various struggles of life, attended to by various helping agencies or government offices in town," according to a press release from the ministerium. "Our Lord said 'Whoever does not bear His own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple,' Luke. 14:27."
Individuals may take turns carrying the large cross at the head of the line. The route will travel west along Third Street to North Wayne Street and end near First United Methodist Church at Third and Dorcas streets.
The walk will be similar to the original stations of the cross first recorded by pilgrims in the fourth century in Jerusalem.
Originally, the Christian pilgrims followed an estimated route of Jesus' journey to the cross and stopped to pray and meditate at significant points.
In medieval Europe, when the crusades prevented pilgrims from returning to Jerusalem, churches began to host their own stations of the cross services.
They commissioned artists to draw scenes of Christ's journey to Calvary and installed them at different places along a procession route or inside a church. During the service, people walked to each place and prayed.
The 14 traditional stations are:
1. Christ is condemned to death
2. The cross is laid upon him
3. Jesus falls for the first time
4. He meets his mother Mary
5. Simon of Cyrene bears the cross
6. Veronica wipes Christ's face
7. Jesus falls a second time
8. He meets the women of Jerusalem
9. He falls a third time
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
11. He is nailed to the cross
12. Christ dies on the cross
13. His body is taken down from the cross
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb
In this year's modern version, the Lewistown community service will stop at the following locations to pray: Sacred Heart School, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Lumina Center, United Way, Clear Concepts, United Fire Company, the Mifflin County Courthouse and Jail, Monument Square, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, the police station, ComPASS building and Mann Edge Apartments, Rec Park, Shelter Services, Salvation Army, Skills and First United Methodist Church.