so a fool returneth to his folly."
My pastor said in a personal email that exposition/benediction in the context of stations of the cross is "inappropriate," as combining devotions and liturgy takes away from the essence of each other. Obviously I asked the wrong question because I had recognized intuitively its inappropriateness. Rather, I should have asked him, given that, is it ok for me to attend?!
Well, I'd already bought and received the booklet. Thus I was kinda bound. I printed out the exposition/benediction texts I would need and taped them into the covers of my copy.
I arrived with only enough time to light a candle and find a seat in the back. On the way in, I noticed the back table held no more booklets. A lady entered and sat behind me. She was booklet-less and seemed on the verge of leaving as she had quickly realized how unsatisfying is praying an unfamiliar version of stations without the texts that enable full participation. I invited her to move up a pew next to me to look on. To my surprise, she accepted.
The pastor, dressed in a black cassock, was seated with the congregation and a deacon again performed the eucharistic rite as before, with incense, etc. But he moved more rigidly than last week and I wondered whether it was the same man who was just nervous about his "boss" watching ... or whether this was a different deacon. The benefit of having the pastor in view was knowing when to kneel and when to stand.
Afterwards, the woman thanked me for sharing my booklet with her. I should have ordered a case of booklets and handed them out to folks. She said she hadn't been to stations in a long, long time so the version we were using was foreign but it worked for her. I told her it was from JPII and therefore bona fide. She accepted that. She introduced herself; coincidentally, her given name is the same as mine.