The little weatherboard church of St Oswald’s set amongst the Parishioners farms in a region called Boomahnoomoonah, South East of Yarrawonga, provided a place of worship for over a centenary for those who live encircling the property. Sadly for safety issues and due to age, the church was deconsecrated and demolished in 2012. The land has been preserved for a quiet place of reflection and prayer, a large cross erected: a place where people are welcome to visit, take a picnic, enjoy the serenity and view the ‘Stations of the Cross’. Highly likely you’ll find a local parishioner pass by and stop to say hello!
The Booma Cross
At a working bee in the early 80’s, a comment was made about the lack of a Cross on the Booma Church. Rex Wright (pictured, 2014) set about to make things right, and began the difficult task of welding the cross and the ring, which was mounted on the Western end of the Booma church until it was deconsecrated in 2012. The cross was given a new life, when it was raised high on a pole for the Site of Reflection, by Geoff Campbell to maintain a part of this historic church.
Jesus is tried by Caiaphas, the High priest and King Herod. Herod’s soldiers beat him, mock him and insult him, before he is taken to Pilate the Roman Governor. Then, dressed in mockery as a king, Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, is condemned to a death of shame on a cross.
Jesus sets out on the journey to Calvary, bowed down by the weight of the cross. The crowd mock him. He is exhausted from the long night of hardship – the agony of betrayal in the garden, the the trials, the beatings and insults. His strength fails him and he falls to the ground.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, has known that he is the Son of God from the time of the Annunciation. She has watched him grow in stature and wisdom and she has become one of his disciples. Now she grieves as she witnesses the suffering of her Son.
Some women bewail and lament the suffering of Jesus, knowing that he will die on the cross. He warns them to keep their pity for themselves who need it the more, for he knows the affliction that will later come upon Jerusalem.
Jesus’ is humiliated, the garments torn from his body as he is prepared for crucifixion. We sing “There is a green hill far away”. There is no beauty in this hill. It is the place where the Son of God is placed on a cross and prepared for the cruel nails which will hold him to the cross.
The beam is laid on the ground and Jesus is stretched on it. The nails are struck through his hands and feet, then the crucified Jesus is placed upright between the crosses of two thieves to suffer a shameful and painful death before the crowed.
Jesus hangs on the cross, the weight of his body by his nailed hands. Despite his pain, he thinks of others: he forgives those who crucified him; he promises salvation to the repentant thief; he commits his mother to the care of his friend. What amazing love flowed from the cross on this dark, dark day. Jesus knows his mission is complete . He expresses once more a human desire – he thirsts. He calls on his Father to receive him – he bows his head – he dies.
The soldiers have pierced Jesus’ side, but do his body no more harm when they see that he is dead. Joseph of Arimathea has permission to remove the body before the Sabbath. Jesus is taken from the cross.