Mar 28, 2018

Stations of the (Parish Ministry) Cross

One of the things about being on sabbatical during Holy Week is having the time and mental capacity to come up with ridiculous ideas. As I was thinking about the Stations of the Cross, it occurred to me that we really need a version that shares the reality of parish life during Holy Week.

If you aren't familiar with this devotion, also known as the Way of the Cross, it tells the story of Jesus' final moments leading to his crucifixion. Originating in Jerusalem and the desire to walk in Jesus' footsteps, the devotion became popular for those unable to make an actual pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There are traditionally 14 stations, eight being based on Scripture and the other six rooted in pious legend. Here's a link to some more information about this practice that includes the actual stations.

Many will pray the stations on Good Friday. At my own parish, St. John's in Hingham, Massachusetts, we always walk the outdoor Stations of the Cross at Glastonbury Abbey as part of our devotions that day. I always find this a particularly moving way to mark the solemnity of the occasion.

But without further ado, here's a version for those preparing to pull off Holy Week in a parish setting. Enjoy.

1. The Bishop Condemns the Clergy to Exhaustion

2. The Choir Accepts their Cross

3. The Copier Jams the First Time

4. The Rector Meets His Mother Issues

5. The Verger Helps Carry the Cross

6. The Sexton Wipes the Face of the Rector

7. The Copier Jams the Second Time

8. The Rector Meets the Women of ECW

9. The Copier Jams the Third Time

10. The Deacon is Stripped of Her Vestments

11. The Parish Secretary is Nailed to Her Desk

12. The Bulletins Die in the Copier

13. The Organist is Taken Down from the Choir Loft

14. The Rector is Placed in the Tomb


The Altar Guild of St. James' Episcopal Church said...

Fr. Tim, this is very funny, enjoyed it, but why nothing about the altar guild. Seven services in a week -RED & palms..then no hangings nor greenery...then WHITE and candles and flowers galore...with multiple Eucharists set up /clean up including enough wine and hosts for the twice a year crowd.
And yet the ECW gets mentioned? "we are not amused"

Tim Schenck said...

Oh, no! Altar Guild members mad at me! Nothing scarier. (and thanks for EVERYTHING you're doing this week - we literally couldn't pull off Holy Week without you).