Living Stations include lyric performance of Mary's assurances to Jesus

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Living Stations include lyric performance of Mary's assurances to Jesus
Living Stations include lyric performance of Mary's assurances to Jesus


The Stations of the Cross are always a powerful expression of faith. Living Stations of Cross, offered by so many parishes and schools during Holy Week, add another dimension to this already meaningful experience.

For the St. Veronica School community, Howell, another element was added this year that led teacher Linda Groh to describe the addition as a “God moment.”

That new piece was a live singing performance by a seventh grader.

It came about during religion class when students were asked to take a current popular song and change the lyrics to reflect their faith or belief in God.

Student Rachael Engallena chose Taylor Swift’s song “Safe and Sound.” She changed the lyrics to reflect the moment when Mary encounters her son on the way to the cross and she promises him that she will not leave him and, with the Father’s light, they will get through this together.

As the students got set to present the songs in class, Rachael asked her friend, Alexandra Hambsch, to sing the song in front of the class.  “The moment she sang the song, I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps.  I knew the song was special,” said Groh.  The girls’ enthusiasm prompted her to suggest that the song be included as part of the Living Stations, which seventh grade students had been preparing since January.

The class combines the traditional Stations of the Cross with reflection, live action, popular Christian music and the “Spirits of Grace” dancers. Narrators recount the events taking place as Jesus progresses from Station to Station.   

This year, the class presented the Stations of the Cross on Holy Thursday for students and families of the school. “The students approach it with such seriousness and intensity that it is often forgotten they are only seventh graders,” said one observer, who recounted that this year’s performance was especially moving, with the students doing an outstanding job walking Christ’s final journey to the Cross. 

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The Stations of the Cross are always a powerful expression of faith. Living Stations of Cross, offered by so many parishes and schools during Holy Week, add another dimension to this already meaningful experience.

For the St. Veronica School community, Howell, another element was added this year that led teacher Linda Groh to describe the addition as a “God moment.”

That new piece was a live singing performance by a seventh grader.

It came about during religion class when students were asked to take a current popular song and change the lyrics to reflect their faith or belief in God.

Student Rachael Engallena chose Taylor Swift’s song “Safe and Sound.” She changed the lyrics to reflect the moment when Mary encounters her son on the way to the cross and she promises him that she will not leave him and, with the Father’s light, they will get through this together.

As the students got set to present the songs in class, Rachael asked her friend, Alexandra Hambsch, to sing the song in front of the class.  “The moment she sang the song, I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps.  I knew the song was special,” said Groh.  The girls’ enthusiasm prompted her to suggest that the song be included as part of the Living Stations, which seventh grade students had been preparing since January.

The class combines the traditional Stations of the Cross with reflection, live action, popular Christian music and the “Spirits of Grace” dancers. Narrators recount the events taking place as Jesus progresses from Station to Station.   

This year, the class presented the Stations of the Cross on Holy Thursday for students and families of the school. “The students approach it with such seriousness and intensity that it is often forgotten they are only seventh graders,” said one observer, who recounted that this year’s performance was especially moving, with the students doing an outstanding job walking Christ’s final journey to the Cross. 

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