It’s a truism to help us on life’s journey and never more so than today when we consider the crosses we bear around the world.
Now we’re not going to get all heavy on you… we hope to lighten your load in this space.
But it is intriguing to see how the rest of the world marks Jesus of Nazareth’s death in Jerusalem 2,000 or so years ago.
On a hill in Jerusalem
And that hill which we might remember from the Bible is Golgotha in Aramaic, or the place of the skulls, or Calvary in Latin.
Eerily the Jerusalem mound where Jesus and the two robbers were crucified is shaped like a skull.
Join the pilgrims in the Holy Land (get there early) on the walk up the Via Dolorosa and go through the Stations of the Cross.
I’ve been practising all my life (Lourdes, Fatima, the Camino, the Via Francigena, Medjugorje and all stops in between) and God willing, will get there.
When in Rome
And, of course, when in Rome and on Good Friday, the Pope takes centre stage.
Francis leads a torch-lit procession, the Via Crucis from the Colosseum to Palatine Hill.
And yes, it wouldn’t be worth a denarii without stops for prayers at the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross.
Francis also likes to carry a cross at least part of the way. Of course he does.
Good Eggday Jamaica
Yes, it would probably work better as Good Fryday but I won’t let the facts get in the way of a good Easter story.
No, our Jamaican friends bring a new spin on the Easter Egg story with this Good Friday tradition.
You add an egg white to a glass of water before sunrise on Good Friday.
And then look at it as the sun goes up to see if the white settles into an image that may hint at the future.
Now, if only they’d tried this at the Last Supper.
And Judas is carried out in Trinidad & Tobago
Further down the Caribbean and Trinidad & Tobago zoom in on the treacherous Judas Iscariot.
With their stuffed clothes effigies, the Bobolees.
And that’s when the Trinidandian and Tobagonians go to town on them with sticks.
It’s not just Judas though with other hate figures getting stick too.
Carrying it too far in the Philippines
And isn’t it always the case that someone takes it too far.
We’ve all seen them, at this time of the year, on our TVs…
Those have-a-go-heroes who literally get themselves nailed to the cross to show their devotion.
The Catholic Church discourages this practice but still the zealots of Pampanga persist.
And not forgetting too God’s own children of Oberammergau in Bavaria in Germany.
With this year being particularly special as the ten-year iteration of the Passionspiele will go ahead.
After it took an abeyance two years ago because of Covid.
Yes, they are all crosses we bear around the world.