Stations of the cross in Guatemala
March 21, 2012 - Guatemala
Lent is a time for us to reflect on the struggles that Jesus made for all of us, his children. To help our children remember Jesus’ sacrifices, every Friday at 2pm during Lent our children conduct Viacrucis, or Stations of the Cross. This is where our children get the opportunity to experience what it is that God went through for us and it is a great opportunity for our home to come together and grow.
Each week a different area of the home, clinic, office, or different sections put on reenactments of the stations. The locations of the stations change every week but we do walk around the entire home of Casa San Andres.
The home kneeling at the first station
According to Franklin Polanco, the head of our religion department at Casa San Andres, “The ordeal reminds us of the sacrifice of the love that Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior and Messiah made. Therefore the Stations of the Cross help us to meditate and think about the suffering that Jesus lived and experienced.” This is important for our children so that they can remember Jesus and what he died for. “For children to know that Jesus has risen and is rising and with them at every change in their lives is a very special feeling and an idea that they can take with them the rest of their lives,” adds Franklin.
Recently the clinic was in charge of putting on Viacrucis and this is what the experience was like:
All of the sections were lined up in front of the clinic where general announcements were given and then our actors came out so that Viacrucis could begin. It was a beautiful day to be at the home and to participate in this activity; the sun was out and there was a cool breeze that made you feel comfortable to be outside.
As the clinic began to start the first station, everyone began to kneel. The idea behind kneeling on the hard cement is that it is considered to be part of the suffering that we are to experience. At each station, everyone participating in the Stations of the Cross knelt to feel a little bit of the suffering. As the station was finished everyone stood up and everyone began to sing and our music teacher, Profe Oscar, played his guitar so that everyone had something to sing along to.
As we made our way through the stations we saw the different parts of the house: boys' section, girls' section, babies' house, soccer field, and we eventually made our way to the dining hall. It is to be noted that each week the Stations of the Cross is conducted along a different path. As the 12th station was finished everyone walked in silence to remember the death of Jesus—to see 280 of our children be silent is an incredible thing. When we made it to the final station there was a prayer and everyone went back to their sections or to do their chores.
Not everyone left; however, as there was a group of people congregated around one of our volunteers, Sean, who played Jesus in the reenactment. They were all telling him what a good job he did and how proud of him they were. Sean had this to say, "I was so excited to be able to portray Jesus during Viacrucis. This was obviously a very important tradition for the kids, and to be given the opportunity to participate in such a huge way was really great. The organization does a lot to ensure that volunteers feel like an important part of the family here."