Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stations of the Cross — Without the Cross

Fr. Charles Nalls sent this about a report in CHRISTIANITY TODAY by Susan Wunderlink (what a great name for the internet).

Episcopalian liturgy for Stations of the Millennium Development Goals truncates the gospel, critics say.

In this season of Lent, many Christians in liturgical traditions have been meditating on the Stations of the Cross, a series of events — biblical and traditional — depicting the story of Jesus' death.

This year, however, the Episcopal Church is promoting new devotional material for Lent: the Stations of the Millennium Development Goals. The church's Episcopal Relief and Development office created a liturgy based on the United Nations plan to eliminate extreme poverty and other global ills, and sent e-mail to church leaders encouraging its use "in lieu of the traditional Stations of the Cross service."

Mike Angell of the denomination's Office of Young Adult and Higher Education Ministries designed the stations for a September 2007 young adult conference. While the traditional Stations of the Cross meditation has 14 stations (though this has varied through church history), the Episcopalian Stations of the Millennium Development Goals liturgy has only eight stations, one for each goal.

Station four, on reducing child mortality, reads:

Every three seconds a child under the age of five dies. A disproportionate number of these children live in developing countries, without access to clean water or basic medical care.

The article continues with commentary that is largely unnecessary, since we get the obvious point. In his note to us, Fr. Nalls had a better commentary:

"Here is the latest in EOO matters (that would be Equal Opportunity Offense) from my former denomination. They manage to give offense to just about every real part of Christianity. I note that their stations of the cross don’t address how many children die from abortion—you know, one of those 'preventable, treatable causes.' But, such is the nature of their ?-ology. They can’t even leave the Trisagion alone."


poetreader said...

Now, what was it that St,. Paul said? Something like this, maybe?

"I have purposed to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him social working?"

I don't think that's quite right.


Anonymous said...

The actual posting is beyond comment, but I'm curious. What have they done to the Trisagion?