Father Desmond Drummer
Pastor, Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church & Chaplain, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School
"Refraining from overt religious gestures and maintaining silence will ensure that we neither distract nor offend those around us."
Catholic devotions are as numerous as the number of Catholic Christians who have ever lived. Some devotional practices are quite personal while others, like the Rosary, are held in common by believers across the globe. Even the widely known Catholic devotions can be performed and experienced in ways that vary across individuals, families, prayer groups, cultures, and parishes. There is no "right way" or "wrong way" to do a particular devotion because our Catholic devotions are not regulated by Church authorities.
The Stations of the Cross is a devotion that is known by many. During Lent, we often experience the Stations within the context of a chapel or church; we perform gestures such as genuflection and kneeling; we orally recite religious verses. Although common, these specific practices are not required.
As we prepare to engage the Stations of the Cross at the High Museum of Art, we will set aside the common practices associated with the Stations so that we can experience the devotion in a new way and show ourselves to be good neighbors to fellow museum guests.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Refraining from overt religious gestures and maintaining silence will ensure that we neither distract nor offend those around us.
Do not touch the works of art.
If you have an emotional reaction to a Station, courteously exit the gallery and proceed to a main passageway or a restroom to collect yourself.
As good neighbors, we also want to respectfully comply with any instructions that are given to us by museum staff during our visit.
Finally, if anyone asks you what you are doing, tell them! Kindly share what this experience means to you and wish them peace. You may also ask them about their own experience of the museum. There is no need to go further than that unless they continue asking questions.
Before proceeding, take a few moments to read the Art Introduction by Jennifer Cawley. Her expert guidance will support your intention to have a meaningful experience of prayer in a new context.
Let God surprise you with grace!