12th and Massachusetts Ave, NW - Washington, DC 20005 - 202.347.8161
Stations of the Cross
with Music and Meditations
Friday, March 31 and Good Friday, April 14
When Father Dominique asked if I'd be interested in applying my recent electronic music offerings to the traditional devotions known as the Stations of the Cross, I accepted the assignment with great interest.
I grew up in New York City as a choirboy at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. We didn't have stations, as far as I can remember, anywhere in that cavernous building. Growing up, the only place I ever saw them was on the walls of the Roman Catholic parishes on the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights. Here, Latina babushkas, would clutch their rosary beads in silent or faintly mumbled prayer. I was never attracted to penetrate its dark and almost medieval penitential drear.
But then, years later, I became a novice Buddhist monk, and there were pictures on the wall, called the Ox Herding Pictures. These 10 scenes are meant to depict the journey of an individual on the path to enlightenment. These scenes, like the "Stations" are meant to provide moments of focus and personal reflection as we are guided along an intimate journey.
When I came to ASA as organist, I was immediately struck by the fact that as an Anglo-Catholic parish (and one steeped in the tradition of Fortesque and the Anglican Missal) here were the same Stations of the Cross on the walls that I had seen in the Spanish Harlem churches of my youth.
I reviewed the devotions as proscribed in both the Roman and Anglican missals (nearly identical). In all 14 devotions, the pattern of scripture, followed by prayer and meditation is the same. The intent, I believe is to draw us, through pious devotion and reflection, into a deeper understanding of the suffering of Our Savior in his final hours, and the meaning of that suffering within our own lives as Christians approaching the triumph and promise of Easter.
I could immediately see that here, in the spirit of the Buddhist Ox Herding pictures, was a visceral and highly mystical musical journey waiting to be taken! I thought to begin with an opening musical meditation or prelude to set the overall mood of the hour-long devotion. What follows are the fourteen traditional stations, consisting of the same basic pattern: collect, prayer, brief spoken reflection and "capping prayer." Following each station, music would then take us even deeper into the scene just depicted, hopefully providing a vehicle for wider perspective and more profound experience of Jesus' path to Calvary, as if you yourself are there: in the interrogation hall, along the dusty road, and finally, in the stillness of the sealed tomb...
Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent (also known as Confession)
The invitation to observe a Holy Lent given on Ash Wednesday exhorts us to “self examination and repentance.” One means which the Lord provides through His Church for this self-examination and repentance is the Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent, perhaps better known as Confession (see page 447 in the Book of Common Prayer). If you have any questions or would like to partake of this rite, please contact Fr. Dominique to make an appointment. You can contact him at 202-347-8161 or
Baptism, Confirmation and formal reception into the Episcopal Church
On Saturday May 13, at 10:00 am, in the hands of our Bishop, Mariann Budde, there will be Baptisms, Confirmations and formal receptions into the Episcopal Church. If you have not received any of these gifts and would like to, please let Fr. Dominique know. We will plan a couple of classes accordingly.