Stations of the Cross at St. Thomas Welcome to the Stations of the Cross, or the Way of the Cross, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
This app, for both iPhone and iPad (iOS 7) allows the user to experience the Stations of the Cross in the sanctuary of St. Thomas Church, or in St. Thomas's Founders Hall. Of course, one can use the app without coming to the church as well.
You can read a meditation taken from the Episcopal Church's Book of Occasional Services, and pray the stations by yourself or with a group. There is no voice-over for this meditation . You can also read a meditation designed for younger people. With this meditation, you can choose to hear the words of the narrator and the words of Jesus. Finally, you can read (and hear) the comments of the artist, Virginia Maksymowicz, who designed and sculpted the stations for St. Thomas.
You can always choose to turn on or off the voice-overs or the brief phrases of music which accompany each station.
If you are in the sanctuary of St. Thomas, the app can tell which of the stations is closest to you. It will ask if you want to see and read that station. To use this technology, you must turn on Location Services and Bluetooth, and you must be running iOS 7. The app appears with this feature turned off in an effort to save battery life; when you come to St. Thomas church you will be invited to turn this feature on. You can always turn it on or off as you need.
The first video below, from YouTube, shows this.
The iOS version,
Veresion 1.2 has complete voice-overs for all three parrts (prayer book, children's meditations, artist's comments). Given that the sculptures at St. Thomas Church are meant to be touched, the entire experience is accessible to the blind or visually impaired. Version 1.2 should vbe ready by Lent, 2017.
The iOS versionn 1.1 (iOS 8.1 and above) includes notifies the user when he or she enters St. Thomas church (either the sanctuary or Founders Hall) where the Stations (and their iBeacons) are located, and invites her or him to launch the app. The second video below shows how the user is notified by approaching the stations at the church, and can respond by launching the app. Continued use of location services running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. This feature can be enabled or disabled at product launch, or at any time using Settings > Bluetooth or Settings > Privacy > Location Services. The notifications can also be configured using Settings >Notifications.
The Android version, now 1.0 (as of February 2015) is available on Google Play). Use the "Download Android" button above right.
copyright © 2014 Jay Martin Anderson;
text from "The Book of Occasional Services", copyright © 2004 the Church Pension Fund, and used by permission.
Additional text from St. Thomas Church, William Eberle and Jonathan Currier (rectors). Additional text © 2014 Virginia A. Maksymowicz, used by permission.
Music is from the Passion Chorale (J. S. Bach after H. L. Hassler, and J. Cruger, in both cases arranged by Chris Anderson.
The stations depicted here were commissioned by St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and executed by Virginia A. Maksymowicz.
The voice-overs are read by Lydia and Philip Jones (children's meditation) and Ann Wheaton (artist's comments).
The Android version was discontinued in 2016.
The Apple TV Version
The Apple TV version of "Stations at St. Thomas" has the same content as the iOS and Android versions, but a completely new presentation. Designed to be used in the living room and controlled with the Siri TV Remote, the TV version is complete with voiceovers for all modes (Book of Occasional Services, children's meditations and artist's comments). The TV watcher can join in with the responses, or simply listen to the voices of members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Lancaster PA USA following the "way of the cross."
For the (Episcopal) Book of Occasional Services version, each station is represented by five panels, including an opening versicle and response, scripture, vesicle and response, prayer, and the trisagion. The viewer can join in the congregational responses, or any part of each station. The viewer can then tap the left or right edge of the remote to visit the previous or next station. The viewer can also tap the top edge of the remote to switch to the children's meditation or artist's comments. Please note: tap not click.
For the Children's meditation, each station is represented by three panels, including the narrator's explanation, the words of Jesus, and the response of the children. Children can join in with the recorded response. After the response, the child can tap the left or right edge of the remote to switch to the previous or next station.
For the Artist's comments, each station is represented by only one panel. After hearing the artist's comments about a particular station, the viewer can tap the left or right edge of the remote to move to the preceding or next station.
The Apple TV version was completed on January 21, 2016, and is now available on the (Apple TV) App Store (16 Feb 2016).