STATIONS

OF THE

CROSS

This at home experiential Stations of the Cross is designed to help connect our lives today to what happened to Jesus many years ago. We invite you to enter the Way of the Cross, to walk with Jesus who never ceases to walk with us. His way is our way. Each station will begin with a Scripture passage, followed by a reflective experience, and concludes with a prayer. Get creative: try printing out the stations and putting them around your house or sit together around a table and pass a tablet with the stations around for each person to lead. Everything needed you likely have at home: makers, paper, scissors, flowers, pieces of cloth or dish towels, and a crucifix. Images are included after the station if needed for the activity. Try to maintain a reflective and prayerful disposition as you move from station to station. You may pray aloud as family or individually in silence. Spend as much time as you need. We are all on the journey together. Consider offering up this time of prayer for someone who needs it, maybe that is you.

Let Us Pray
Lord, thank you for this opportunity to walk with You. As we enter the mystery of Your Passion remind us that You did all this out of love. We unite our suffering to Yours and ask that You would increase in us the willingness to bear our share of hardships for the sake of the Gospel. You have gone before us and continue to walk beside us.

Amen.




Many thanks to the parishoner who has recorded each station for us.

Our wonderful music group have also prepared some reflective music to play in the background:


I

JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" But he said, "Why? What evil has he done?" They only shouted the louder, "Let him be crucified!" When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. Look to it yourselves."

Matthew 17:22-24

Take a moment to wash your hands and think of a time when you didn't want to get involved and washed your hands of the responsibility of standing up for someone innocent.

Let Us Pray
Lord, we are so easily influenced by the shouting of others. It is easier to just go along with the crowd. Forgive us for the times we have washed our hands of the responsibility of standing up for the truth. Remind us that when we stand for the truth, we stand for You. Give us the courage to enter these stations and accept our responsibility for what happened to You on the Cross. Amen.


II

JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"

Mark 8:34-36

Take a moment to make a cross that you will carry with you along the stations. Cut a cross out of a piece of paper. Be sure to make it large enough to write and draw on later. Think of the cross you are called to carry in your life.

Let Us Pray
Lord, the call of discipleship is clear, it requires us to take up our cross and follow You. Our cross can feel really heavy at times and if we are honest we would rather leave it behind. Help us not just endure our crosses, but to embrace them as the vehicle that carries us to eternal life. We unite our crosses to Yours. Amen.


III

JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:19-21,24

Take a marker and write the word "flesh" on your cross. Think of the times you have fallen under the weight of temptations of the flesh.

Ask Jesus to teach you to always get back up.

Let Us Pray
Lord, we are broken and in need of Your mercy. Our hearts and flesh cry out for You, the living God, yet we turn to so many other things to try and satisfy the ache. Sin is an unfulfilled promise that we keep returning to that never satisfies. Help us to direct our desire into You rather than use it for ourselves. When we fall, lift us up again with Your grace and call us forward in deeper trust. Amen.


IV

JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Luke 2:34-35

If you have any flowers at home, take one and offer it to an image of Mary. If not, take a moment to draw one for her on your cross. She loves all flowers. Thank her for being a compassionate Mother and take a moment to pray for your earthly mother.

Let Us Pray
Lord, You have given us Your Mother to care for us as she so faithfully cared for You. Mothers are people who share a special connection with their children. When their children suffer they suffer too. Your Mother's heart was pierced as Your heart was pierced. She was faithful to the end. Remind us that Mary continues to walk with us along the way and never ceases interceding for us. Amen.


V

SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS CARRY HIS CROSS

As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.

Luke 23:26

Take a moment to think of someone in your life that is carrying a heavy cross right now. Write their name on the back of your cross and say a prayer for them. If you feel called, send them a text to tell them you are praying for them and maybe ask how you can better support them in this time.

Let Us Pray
Lord, crosses are heavy and we struggle to carry them alone. If You needed help, how much more will we. Give us the courage to accept help and to reach out in times of need. We were not made to walk this journey alone. Remind us of the blessing it is to be a Simon for someone in need and help us be grateful for the Simons in our lives.

Amen.


VI

VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:35-40

Think of a time when you saw the hidden face of Jesus as you served someone in need. Recall how it left an impression on your heart.

Draw a heart on your cross as a visual reminder.

Let Us Pray
Lord, we know nothing about Veronica except that when she saw Your great suffering she responded with great love. Open our eyes to the suffering of our brothers and sisters around us. Help us to see You in them and to serve You in small ways with great love. The more we encounter You the more Your heart leaves a mark on ours. Amen.


VII

JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME

Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

1 John 2:15-17

Take a marker and write the word "world" on your cross. Think of the times you have fallen under the weight of temptations of the world. Ask Jesus to help lift your eyes and heart to the things of heaven, our true destination.

Let Us Pray
Lord, temptation is before us always. There are so many things in the world that can distract us from You and Your kingdom, leading us down the road of self-glorification. Help us to say no to the empty promises of earthly power and success. When we do fall remind us that we are not made for the world, but rather we are made for You.

Amen.


VIII

JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!' and to the hills, ‘Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?"

Luke 23:27-31

Take a moment to think of a people or nation in the world that is suffering. Place your finger on that part of the map and pray for them.

Let Us Pray
Lord, the wood is now dry and all we have to do is look to the news to see the evil we are capable of. Give us tears to weep for our sins and the sins of the whole world. When one member of Your body suffers we all suffer. Heal us and in Your abundant mercy free us from all evil by the power of Your Cross. Amen.


IX

JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.

Ephesians 6:10-13

Take a marker and write the words "Evil One" on your cross. Think of the times you have fallen under the weight of temptation from the Devil. Remember that the Lord has conquered sin and claimed victory over the power of evil.

Let Us Pray
Lord, we fall the hardest are under the weight of evil. The serpent, who is the Devil, has been at work since the beginning sowing seeds of distrust in Your goodness. We cannot battle evil apart from Your grace and power at work in us. Deliver us from the lies we let govern our hearts and help us to trust completely in You, knowing that nothing can separate us from Your love. Amen.


X

JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS CLOTHES

And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there.

Matthew 27:33-36

Hold a piece of cloth in your hands and reflect on the following questions: If I was stripped of everything that protected me, would I find myself still trusting in God? When and how have I left others naked — stripped others of their privacy and their dignity? Keep the cloth with you until the end of the stations.

Let Us Pray
Lord, everything was taken from You, including your final ounce of dignity, Your clothes. Even then the one thing that no one could take from You is Your relationship with the Father. We cling to so many things other than You and even without thought take from others to make our lives more comfortable. Give us Your heart and inspire us to be willing to let everything go, trusting that what is most important can never be taken away. Amen.


XI

JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews". Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right hand and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross". So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him".

Matthew 27:37-42

Draw three nails on your cross in the places Jesus was nailed to the cross. Reflect on this quote from St. Francis of Assisi: "Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins" and accept your part in the crucifixion of Jesus.

Let Us Pray
Lord, we never wanted to hurt You, but right now we are faced with the pain we have inflicted on you. You didn't try to escape or resist. You took our sin upon Yourself and bore the stripes that make us whole. Move us to hate our sin and to love you more. Amen.


XII

JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

John 19: 28-30

Place your cross by a crucifix or cross in your home and kneel for a moment of silent prayer.

Let Us Pray
Lord, You did this for us. You perfectly surrendered Yourself to the will of the Father, because we could not. Only in and through You can we be saved. Help us to unite our crosses to Yours and trust in the promise that if we die with You, we will rise with You. Amen.


XIII

JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS AND GIVEN TO HIS MOTHER

But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

Take a moment to reflect on the image of the Pietà. Hold the death of Jesus in your heart as Mary held Him in her arms.

Let Us Pray
Lord, Your Mother risked it all and was faithful to the end. She did not abandon You like the others for she could not let You die alone. May we who are constantly being given up to death for Your sake be a living sign of Your love to the world. May we risk it all for You and be found faithful to the end. Amen.


XIV

JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

Matthew 27:57-61

Take the cloth you have been carrying and lay it at the base of the tomb or in the middle of where you are gathered. Wait in silence with Jesus for a while. Thank him for what He did for us and ask Him to assure us that death is not the end as we expectantly await the Resurrection on Easter.

Let Us Pray
Lord, bless us and keep us safe in this time of waiting. When we feel afraid, help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and Your promises. May we be people who continue to love others as You have loved us. Be with us now and lead us safely to eternal life. Amen.