Stations of the Cross

 

The Stations of the Cross began as a practice of pious pilgrims going to Jerusalem and retracing the final journey of Jesus Christ to Calvary. Later, for the many who wanted to pass along the same route but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the fourteen stations currently found in almost every church. Every Friday at 7pm, we deepen our understanding of Jesus’ Passion by walking with Him and prepare for Good Friday.

 

 

I .    Jesus is condemned to death.
II.    Jesus takes up the cross.
III.   Jesus falls the first time.
IV.   Jesus meets His sorrowful mother, Mary.
V.    Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross.
VI.   Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
VII.  Jesus falls the second time.
VIII. Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem.
IX.   Jesus falls the third time.
X.    Jesus is stripped of His garments.
XI.   Jesus is nailed to the cross.
XII.  Jesus dies on the cross.
XIII. Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross.
XIV. Jesus’ body is laid to rest in the tomb.

 

Each week we’ll add meditations for 2-3 Stations.  The pictures are of the Stations inside St. Bernadette’s.  You can use this age at home or stop at the stations before or after Mass.  Spend some time reflecting on each Station during your Lenten journey.

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

 Station I Art in St. Bernadette Church

Station I Art in St. Bernadette Church

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

[genuflect or bow your head] Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Doing the right thing is not always easy or clear.  There are outside pressure and clamoring voices seeking our approval.  It is often easier to go along with what our culture says – buy more things, earn more money, work more hours.  But it is much more difficult to make prayer a daily practice, to practice tithing, to come to spend time worshipping God every Sunday to give a good example to our children, and to keep God as our first priority.

Pilate also found it hard to go against the crowd, against the voices of the chief priests, and against his own desire for honor and for the peace of the region.  We strive to do otherwise, to live as God asks us, trusting that following His will is what will bring us greater peace and joy in our relationships, marriages, and families than we could ever find otherwise.

People: Almighty God, help us to trust in your divine plan for us and to accept what you will in our lives.  Instead of paying attention to our culture and world, we wish to turn to you in a spirit of prayerful listening.  You live and reign forever and ever. Amen 

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be to the Father… Amen

 

 

Second Station: Jesus Accepts His Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

[genuflect or bow your head] Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

All our lives have goals. What are our goals for our families and lives? Do we want to become famous, be admired and revered, exercise great power and influence, accumulate untold wealth? What about helping each other grow in holiness? Challenging each other to live more loving relationships? Bearing wrongs patiently and modeling forgiveness? What about helping each other get to heaven? How different would our lives be if these were our goals? As we follow Jesus, taking up our cross as He accepts His, we know that this is not the end; rather, this is the way that leads to eternal life.

People: Jesus, we want to follow you with all our hearts, but we are sometimes afraid of what our crosses will be. Give us a strong heart, so that we would willingly accept a share in your mission. We give our lives to you in humble service, knowing that you will lead us to eternal life, where You live and reign forever and ever. Amen. 

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be to the Father… Amen

 

 Station II Art in St. Bernadette Church

Station II Art in St. Bernadette Church

Third Station: Jesus Falls for the First Time

 Station III Art in St. Bernadette Church

Station III Art in St. Bernadette Church

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

[genuflect or bow your head] Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Living as a family means that there will be conflict. We are a group of imperfect, sinful people with different personalities who live together and try to make it work. At the same time, here is the grace of Christ’s sacrifice — he has taken all our sins upon his shoulders. In his humanity, he even buckled under the weight of our sins. Jesus knew our weakness, experienced its consequences, and still provided us a model of perseverance and a way to true freedom. Drawing our strength from God’s grace, we stand up together and continue along the way.

People: Lord, when we fall and fail, help us not to become too discouraged but instead to trust in your forgiveness and recommit ourselves to living well. Make us conscious of the ways in which we cause others to stumble, so that we would root out the source of such behavior in our lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be to the Father… Amen

 

Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

[genuflect or bow your head] Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Motherhood is one of life’s most important vocations. A mother carries a growing child for many months and nurtures the baby from her own body during and after the pregnancy. A mother truly shares in the activity of God, loving and sustaining human life. Yet today, motherhood is often not a title of honor or distinction, instead dismissed as something secondary or burdensome. Could we all do something more to honor all the mothers in our lives?

Mary was Jesus’ mother, and she bore the weight of her son inside her womb and experienced the even heavier weight of seeing her child suffer at the hands of others. Instead of shying away from this suffering, she walked with Jesus every step of the way. Her obedience to God’s call to motherhood was not without pain and hardship, yet it provides a witness for all mothers of every age. She shows us that the love and steadfastness of a mother is a source of strength for a child, and especially for one experiencing a time of trial.

People: Hail Mary, full of grace … . Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be to the Father… Amen

 

 Station IV Art in St. Bernadette Church

Station IV Art in St. Bernadette Church

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross

 Station V Art in St. Bernadette Church

Station V Art in St. Bernadette Church

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

[genuflect or bow your head] Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Simon was a father. He probably aspired to be a good one, providing moral instruction to his children, passing on the deposit of faith, and acting as a pillar of strength and protection. Perhaps Alexander and Rufus were with him that day and saw their father pressed into service to help Jesus carry the cross. Would they not have been frightened as they saw their father led away and given the burden of a condemned man?

People:  Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of all our fathers. Though they are not perfect, they do reflect, in many ways, the love that You, our Father in heaven, have for us. Help all the fathers in the world and remind them of their sacred mission towards their children, as we pray…

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Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be to the Father… Amen

 

Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

[genuflect or bow your head] Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

he Face of Jesus was covered in blood, dirt, spittle, and sweat. It moved the heart of a woman who wiped it with her veil.

Veronica’s courageous action enlivens us to be people and families of compassion. When a child or parent is sick, the whole family suffers and sacrifices until the person is well. So, too, in our human family—when another is suffering, we are called to suffer with and sacrifice for the other until everyone is well. It is difficult to reach beyond our own families, but we must accept our place and role within the Body of Christ and the entire human family, extending our hands and hearts to those in need. As we perform these spiritual and corporal works of mercy, we truly wipe the face of the stranger among us, and we realize that we gaze upon the true image of Jesus.

People:  Jesus, Veronica’s hands were hands of compassion to you in Your time of great need. She took a great risk in coming to your aid, showing us how powerful such an action can be. Help our families and each one of us to recognize others in need and to reach out to them. May Veronica’s love live on in our actions each day. We ask You this, for You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be to the Father… Amen

 

 Station VI Art in St. Bernadette Church

Station VI Art in St. Bernadette Church

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