The devotion known as the Way of the Cross is an adaptation to local usage of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem: the offering of prayer at a series of places in that city traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death.
The number of stations, which at first varied widely, finally became fixed at fourteen. Of these, eight are based directly on events recorded in the Gospels. The remaining six (numbers 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 13) are based on inferences from the Gospel account or from pious legend. If desired, these six stations may be omitted.
At St. Mary’s the form of the service is taken from the Book of Occasional Services and is offered annually on Fridays during Lent. The stations are made before a series of stained glass windows that are permanently installed in the church. Each window is a pictorial representation of the event being commemorated at that station.
St. Mary’s offers an optional devotional of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the service during Lent.