Taking up the cross in walk to Easter’

Published April 1, 2006

Jim Robertson pauses at “Burnt Offerings,” one of nine stations in his Altarwalk sculpture, a self-guided devotional featured in the foyer of Edmonton’s St. Paul’s Church during Lent. [photo by JOHN LUCAS / EDMONTON JOURNAL]

Parishioners at St. Paul’s church in the diocese of Edmonton have set up a walk-through altar commemorating the passion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, which encourages the faithful to participate in guided meditations, prayer and personal time during the Lenten season.

The brainchild of Jim Robertson, a parishioner and lawyer, Altarwalk is a liturgical sculpture consisting of nine stations, each of them with a reflective reading and a metaphorical illustration of a theme. Themes explored include Christ’s courage, suffering, rejection, dependence, trust, integrity, self-relinquishment and redemptive acts.

Building the altar (with the help of friends) involved the setting up of 23 rocks – collected by Mr. Robertson from various parts of the country – totaling 900 kilograms, around 60 candles, 75 metres of saris and cloth.

Mr. Robertson said he was inspired to build the altar after reflecting on what it means to “take up your cross and follow Jesus.”

“Jesus stated in Luke 9:23 that we are to take up the cross daily if we are to be his disciples,” Mr. Robertson told the Edmonton Journal. “Lent provides an excellent opportunity to examine our hearts and lives in this area.”

Take Up Your Cross services were to be held at Altarwalk each Friday evening, beginning March 3, and ending April 14.


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