Saturday, 16 April 2022
Praying at the Stations of the Cross in
Lent 2022: 16 April 2022 (Station 14)
We come to the end of Holy Week and the end of Lent today, which is Holy Saturday. The prayer in the Parish of Stony Stratford with Calverton today (16 April 2022) is ‘For Faith in times of darkness.’
Even before today begins, I am taking some time early this morning for prayer, reflection and reading.
During Lent this year, in this Prayer Diary on my blog each morning, I have been reflecting on the Psalms each morning. But during these two weeks of Passiontide, Passion Week and Holy Week, I have been reflecting in these ways:
1, Short reflections on the Stations of the Cross, illustrated by images in the Church of the Annunciation, Clonard, Wexford, and the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Giles in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the lectionary adapted in the Church of Ireland;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
Station 14, Jesus is laid in the tomb:
In an unusual arrangement, the Stations of the Cross in the church in Clonard are set in the curved outer wall of the church in 14 windows designed by Gillian Deeny of Wicklow. In her windows, she emphasises the role of women in the Passion story.
Her windows were made in association with Abbey Glass, where she worked with the cut-out shapes of coloured glass, the pigment being a mixture of lead oxide, ground glass and colour. Each window is signed by the artist.
The Stations of the Cross on the north and south walls of the nave in Stoney Stratford were donated in memory of John Dunstan (1924-1988).
The Fourteenth Station in the Stations of the Cross has a traditional description such as ‘Jesus is laid in the tomb.’
In Station XIV in Clonard Church in Wexford, the Virgin Mary weeps inconsolably over dead son as he is placed in his hurriedly-prepared tomb. But there is hope: in the background is the Angel of the Resurrection, and, perhaps, we are invited to catch a glimpse of the Tree of Life.
In Station XIV in Stony Stratford, Nicodemus who came to see Christ under the cover of darkness, now prepares to bury his body before darkness falls.
Nicodemus who had questions and doubts, now holds the Body of Christ in his hands.
Nicodemus has become a full communicant member of the Church.
In death he knows what is meant by new birth.
‘The Body of Christ given for you.’
But this is not the end.
John 19: 38-42 (NRSVA):
38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘Light in the Darkness.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by the Revd Anthony Gyu-Yong Shim of the Diocese of Daejeon in the Anglican Church of Korea. The prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (16 April 2022, Holy Saturday) invites us to pray:
Lord, may we be active members of the community and welcome the stranger into our churches.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org