Hundreds of Episcopalian bishops, clergy, and lay people challenged violence on Monday while praying the Stations of the Cross in Washington, D.C.
More than 20 Episcopal bishops from throughout the church led the procession along Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to defy violence, especially the epidemic of gun violence that claims thousands of American lives each year.
During Monday’s procession, participants stopped in front of memorials, government buildings, and works of art, praying for an end to violence, the culture of violence, and the social and economic conditions that spawn violence.
“Walking the Way of the Cross invites us, compels us, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation,” Bishop Ian T. Douglass of Connecticut wrote on the church’s website. The Stations of the Cross commemorate the ordeal of Jesus from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate. Worshipers metaphorically walk with Jesus, pausing to offer prayers.
“The death dealing realities of violence are brought home to us as Christians when we recall the crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross this Holy Week,” said Bishop Douglas. He was among the coordinators who organized the march after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.