Some of you may have heard of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem It means--the Way of Sorrows—and it was the route believed to have been taken by Jesus through Jerusalem to Calvary. It was probably developed by the Franciscans after they were granted administration of the Christian holy places in Jerusalem in 1342. It helped them re-collect the journey of Jesus.
There have been variant routes since that time. Today, nine of the Stations of the Cross that were established by the Franciscans are located along the Via Dolorosa as it winds its way from the northwest corner of the Temple Mount to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, within which the remaining five stations are located.
Early in church history, pilgrims began coming to Jerusalem to see the physical places spoken of in Scripture where Jesus lived, healed and proclaimed the good news.
Among those most treasured by pilgrims were the places Jesus walked as he moved through the events of his passion. Over time as Christianity spread it became increasingly more difficult for people to travel to make this pilgrimage. In response churches in Europe began creating replicas of the walk, recording The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.--the Way of Sorrows--was the route believed to have been taken by Jesus through Jerusalem to Calvary.
We have worked hard to create a walk for you to do on Easter weekend. It is our labyrinth walk and we hope you are able to walk through it when you have plenty of time to meditate and grow peaceful in God’s presence. We have stations for you to go through and the labyrinth opens on Friday night after our Good Friday service.
The labyrinth is meant to be a prayerful walk. This year we are meditating on Psalm 22.
Psalm 22 is a prophetic description of the crucifixion of Christ written thousands of years before. Like the Via Dolorosa it reminds us of Jesus’ experience of the cross and its meaning for us today. This is the process of Re-collecting.
It is moving to see how this Psalm so accurately describes the crucifixion and also the purpose and plan of God. It begins with the words “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” – the very words Jesus cried out from the cross! Sometimes we focus just on those words, but this psalm takes us somewhere victorious in the end. I think Jesus cried out this statement because he wanted us read the whole psalm.
Read Psalm 22 this week so you are familiar with it and use it to meditate on each day, before you go through the labyrinth. This will make your Holy Week labyrinth experience all the more meaningful.
NOTE TO PARENTS: There will be special meditations/exercises set up for you to do with your young children at those points where the crucifixion event becomes too graphic. You are encouraged to go through the labyrinth walk WITH YOUR CHILD and also alone.