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The following stations of the cross are based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. They are presented here as an alternative to the traditional stations and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ's passion.
presiding minister may be a priest, deacon, or layperson. This minister
prays the opening and closing prayers, leads the acclamation, announces
the stations, and says the prayer that concludes each station. One or
more readers may read the Scriptural reflections. A period of silence
should be observed between the Scripture reading and the prayer. A
crossbearer accompanied by two candlebearers may stand in front of each
station as it is announced. As the cross- and candlebearers move between
the stations, all may sing a verse of the Stabat Mater (At the Cross Her Station Keeping - traditional) or an appropriate antiphon, such as Parce Domine (traditional, various settings) o rCrucem Tuam (Berthier, GIA),
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Lord Jesus, help us walk in your steps.
God of power and mercy,
in love you sent your Son
that we might be cleansed of sin
and live with you forever.
Bless us as we gather to reflect
on his suffering and death
that we may learn from his example
the way we should go.
We ask this through that same Christ, our Lord.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
grant us your strength and wisdom,
that we may seek to follow your will in all things
Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve,
arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had
arranged a signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss is the one;
arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went
over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid
hands on him and arrested him.
(Mark 14: 43-46)
grant us the courage of our convictions
that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring.
When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief
priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They
said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I
tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond.
But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand
of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He
replied to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need
have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."
(Luke 22: 66-71)
grant us your sense of righteousness
that we may never cease to work
to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came
over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he
denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are
talking about!" As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and
said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazorean."
Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later
the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of
them; even your speech gives you away." At that he began to curse and to
swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed. Then
Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: "Before the cock crows
you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly.
(Matthew 26: 69-75)
grant us the gift of honesty
that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.
The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole
Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed
him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the
Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused
him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer?
See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further
answer, so that Pilate was amazed.... Pilate, wishing to satisfy the
crowd, released Barrabas... [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified.
(Mark 15: 1-5, 15)
grant us discernment
that we may see as you see, not as the world sees.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said,"Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly.
(John 19: 1-3)
grant us patience in times of suffering
that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.
When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out,
"Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves
and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." ... They cried out, "Take him
away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify
your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and
carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of
the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
(John 19: 6, 15-17)
grant us strength of purpose
that we may faithfully bear our crosses each day.
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was
coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry
(Mark 15: 21)
grant us willing spirits
that we may be your instruments on earth.
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)
grant us gentle spirits
that we may comfort those who mourn.
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and
the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."]
(Luke 23: 33-34)
grant us merciful hearts
that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all.
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you
not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking
him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the
same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the
sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done
nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into
your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be
with me in Paradise."
(Luke 23: 39-43)
grant us perseverance
that we may never stop seeking you.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister,
Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother
and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman,
behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
John 19: 25-27
grant us constancy
that we may be willing to stand by those in need.
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three
in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the
temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this
he breathed his last.
(Luke 23: 44-46)
grant us trust in you
that when our time on earth in ended
our spirits may come to you without delay.
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.
(Matthew 27: 57-60)
grant us your compassion
that we may always provide for those in need.
Lord Jesus Christ,
your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites earth and heaven
and reconciles all people to you.
May we who have faithfully reflected on these mysteries
follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit
one God, for ever and ever.
Scripture excerpts are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New TestamentCopyright © 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce these excerpts in free distribution of these stations.
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