Jan Kahle of the Sorrowful Mother Shrine writes of a powerful spiritual experience available at the shrine on Good Friday:
Lent at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine is a powerful opportunity for prayer and reflection. There is daily Confession and Mass available to draw pilgrims into the season, and the grounds, still in winter’s dress, make contemplation on Christ’s Passion and death richer. Even the resurrection can be caught in the surprise of the first glorious signs of spring.
For the past four years at the shrine, the Stations of the Cross have also been offered as an evening candlelight procession on Good Friday. At 9 p.m., pilgrims from around the area and from as far away as Toledo and Cleveland gather to share this unique prayer. In the dark of the evening, in the quiet of the woods, the voices of prayer and the soft light of candles are a moving reminder of Our Lord suffering for us.
Despite the cold and sometimes damp evening, pilgrims solemnly and quietly process past the outdoor stations, pausing to respond in prayer and song. No one leaves early.
No one complains about the cold. No one says it is lasting too long.
As the Stations end with the Burial of Jesus in the tomb, the procession moves to the Shrine of the Holy Sepulcher. The stone cave created by pilgrims almost 100 years ago contains a statue of the body of Christ in repose. Then as if paying respect to a loved one at a funeral home, each pilgrim goes into the sepulcher and shares a moment of prayer with their Lord—some as an individual, some as a couple, some as a family.
The patient and solemn nature of this prayer is very moving. Mark your calendar for March 30, 2018 and make the journey to the Sorrowful Mother Shrine for the Good Friday Stations of the Cross. It may be a sacrifice to come the distance, to tolerate the chill, to travel the path and to sustain the hour, but you will be so glad you offered so little to Our Lord who offers so much.