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The Stations of the Cross

 
   

The central mystery of the Christian Faith is the triumph of Jesus over sin through his Death on the Cross and his Resurrection. Christ's victory, and its saving power are as real now as they were on the first Good Friday and Easter Day. His power fills Christians in their praying and living. His Death and Resurrection are proclaimed in the Eucharist.

As well as claiming the victory of Christ in these great events, Christians have meditated on the cost to Jesus of his love. On the Way of the Cross he suffered physical pain and degradation as well as emotional and mental anguish. The tradition of tracing Christ's route through the streets of Jerusalem has spread to the whole Church in the devotion we call Stations of the Cross. The pictures along the route, the readings and the prayers all help us to enter in spirit the events of Good Friday. As we meditate on the cost to Jesus of love and obedience to God, we pray for those who suffer; count the cost of our own obedience as we take up our Cross and follow Jesus; and show our sorrow for the pain we bring into the world through our own sin.

Prayers at the Stations

Jesus our Saviour, we kneel before you asking your mercy for ourselves and for your whole Church, living and departed. As we follow you on the way of the cross and consider your sufferings, give us some share in all its merits. This road we intend to follow was marked by your sweat and blood, it saw you despised and rejected by men. Give us the spirit of true penitence, and help us to receive with joy all the crosses and humiliations which come to us during our pilgrimage through life, knowing that we are following you.

STATION 1: JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH (Extra)

"What, then, shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?" Pilate asked them. "Crucify him!" they all answered.

But Pilate asked "What crime has he committed?" Then they started shouting at the top of their voices "Crucify him!"

When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on, but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, "I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing!"

The whole crowd answered, "Let the responsibility for his death fall on us and our children!"

Then Pilate set Barabbas free for them; and after he had Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be crucified.

Matthew 27: 22 - 26

JESUS, HELP US TO BE LESS JUDGEMENTAL IN OUR ATTITUDES TO OTHERS. REMIND US OFTEN OF YOUR SAYING "JUDGE NOT, THAT YOU BE NOT JUDGED".

 

STATION 2: JESUS RECEIVES HIS CROSS (Extra)

So they took charge of Jesus. He went out, carrying his cross, and came to "The Place of the Skull", as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called "Golgotha".)

John 19: 17

JESUS, HELP US TO REALISE THE SUFFERING THAT EACH OF US CAN IMPOSE ON OTHERS IN SMALL WAYS. HELP US TO TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW IN CHRIST'S STEPS EACH DAY. (Luke 9: 23-6)

 

STATION 3: JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME (Extra)

Christ had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, in order to be their faithful and merciful High Priest in his service to God, so that the people's sins would be forgiven. And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered.

Hebrews 2: 17-18

JESUS GRANT THAT THOSE WHO ARE LONELY AND AFRAID WILL BE ABLE TO FIND IN US SYMPATHY AND AFFECTION.

 

STATION 4: JESUS MEETS MARY, HIS MOTHER (Extra)

"You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.

When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there - and saw me before I was born.

The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began."

Psalm 139: 13 - 16

JESUS, MAKE OUR HOMES LIKE THE HOME OF MARY AND JOSEPH AT NAZARETH.

 

STATION 5:JESUS' CROSS IS LAID ON SIMON OF CYRENE (Extra)

"Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you, and say that you are evil, all because of the Son of Man!

Be glad when that happens, and dance for joy, because a great reward is kept for you in heaven. For their ancestors did the very same things to their prophets."

Luke 6: 22 - 23

On the way they met a man named Simon, who was coming into the city from the country, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus' cross. (Simon was from Cyrene.)

Mark 15: 21

JESUS, HELP US TO SEE YOUR FACE SHINING OUT OF EVERY HUMAN BEING WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

 

STATION 6: JESUS' FACE IS WIPED BY ST VERONICA (Extra)

Then the King will say to the people on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes; naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me."

The righteous will then answer him, "When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? . . . . . . . . ."

The King will reply, "I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!"

Matthew 25: 34 - 37, 40

JESUS, GIVE US THE COURAGE TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD & BRING COMPASSION WHERE IT IS NEEDED.

 

STATION 7: JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME (Extra)

Jesus answered them' "The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains."

John 12: 23 - 24

JESUS, HELP US NEVER TO RUN AWAY FROM WHAT IS UNPLEASANT IN THIS LIFE. GIVE US THE COURAGE TO STAY AND TO DO WHAT WE CAN.

 

STATION 8: JESUS SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM (Extra)

A large crowd of people followed him; among them were some women who were weeping and wailing for him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Women of Jerusalem! Don't cry for me, but for yourselves and your children. For the days are coming when people will say, 'How lucky are the women who never had children, who never bore babies, who never nursed them!' That will be the time when the people will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and to the hills, 'Hide us!' For if such things as these are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

Luke 23: 27 - 31

JESUS, STOP US BEING SUPERFICIAL PEOPLE. HELP US TO TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER.

 

STATION 9: JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME (Extra)

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God's throne.

Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.

Hebrews 12: 2- 3

JESUS, DEEPEN OUR FAITH IN THE FATHER'S LOVE. HELP TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE EVERLASTING ARMS WILL NEVER ALLOW US TO FALL.

 

STATION 10: JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS (Extra)

After the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it. The soldiers said to one another, "Let's not tear it; let's throw dice to see who will get it." This happened in order to make the scripture come true:

"They divided my clothes among themselves and gambled for my robe."

John 19: 23 - 24

JESUS, HELP US FEEL IN THIS LIFE FOR THE THINGS WHICH LAST TO ETERNITY.

 

STATION 11: JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS (Extra)

"After a life of suffering, he will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake I will forgive them.

And so I will give him a place of honour, a place among the great and powerful. He willing gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven."

Isaiah 53: 11 - 12

JESUS, TAKE FROM US ALL BITTERNESS AND HARDNESS OF HEART. HELP US TO LIVE GENEROUSLY AND WITHOUT SELFISHNESS.

 

STATION 12: JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS (Extra)

Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true, he said, "I am thirsty."

A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips. Jesus drank the wine and said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and died.

John 19: 28-30

JESUS, HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND MY DEATH AS THE GATEWAY TO LIFE. WHEN THE MOMENT OF TRUTH COMES FOR US, TAKE US BY THE HAND AND LEAD US TO ETERNAL LIFE.

 

STATION 13: JESUS' BODY IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS (Extra)

The soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus' side, and at once blood and water poured out.

After this, Joseph, who was from the town of Arimathea, asked Pilate if he could take Jesus' body. (Joseph was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid of the Jewish authorities.) Pilate told him that he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it away.

John 19: 32 - 34, 38

JESUS, TEACH US TO HAVE JOY EVEN IN THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY AND ADVERSITY, FOR JOY IS THE MARK OF OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE FATHER'S LOVE.

 

STATION 14: JESUS' BODY IS LAID IN THE SEPULCHRE (Extra)

Surely you know that when we were baptised into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptised into union with his death. By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life.

Romans 6: 3 - 4

JESUS, HELP US ALWAYS TO BE OPEN TO THE WILL OF THE FATHER. HELP US TO LIVE WITH EXPECTANCY AND HOPE.

 

STATION 15: JESUS IS RISEN ! (Extra)

You know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that could be destroyed, such as silver or gold; it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God.

1 Peter 1: 18 - 21

JESUS, REMEMBER US IN YOUR KINGDOM, AND FILL US WITH YOUR NEW LIFE, NOW AND FOR EVER.

DYING, YOU DESTROYED OUR DEATH. RISING, YOU RESTORED OUR LIFE. LORD JESUS, COME IN GLORY.

 

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