A simple Way of the Cross to pray at home
This Stations of the Cross was originally written to be led by children in a parish setting – this year we can all pray these nine stations in our homes. If you gather as a family perhaps the children can lead the prayer for you…
Prepare your prayer space: candle, crucifix
Leader: In this Way of the Cross together we will walk in the last footsteps of Jesus as he made his
way to Calvary. The word ‘station’ means to stop or to stand still. A station is a place of waiting – waiting to move on, to travel to the next stop on the journey.
This journey we will make today – during which we will stop at the stations – is not only about the journey Jesus made many years ago it is also our journey of life.
As we pray the Way of the Cross we reflect on life, our own personal lives, the lives of others and the events happening in our world today. The people who are part of the story are people just like ourselves,
they too have their fears, their problems, their challenges and temptations in life. They too are sinners like us
And so together let us pray…
Chant/read: O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer, when I call answer me. O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer, come and listen to me. Repeat after each station
The First Station: Jesus in Agony
Reader: Luke 22:39-44
He then left to make his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, with the disciples following. When he reached the place he said to them, “Pray not to be put to the test.”
Then he withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw away, and knelt down and prayed. “Father,” he said, “if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.” Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him strength. In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
Child: Jesus asks his Father to help him to be brave as he faces his pain and suffering.
Today we pray for all people who are suffering pain and agony. We ask you, Lord, to be with them as you were with Jesus on that night so that they too can say ‘Lord, your will be done.’
The Second Station: Jesus is left alone
Reader: Mark 14: 43-50
And at once, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up and with him a number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them saying, “The one I kiss, he is the man. Arrest him, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away.” So when the traitor came, he went up to Jesus at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The others seized him and arrested him. Then one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck out at the high priest’s servant and cut off his ear.
Then Jesus spoke, “Am I a bandit,” he said, “that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I was among you teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid a hand on me. But this is to fulfil the scriptures. And they all deserted him and ran away.
Child: When it came to the time Jesus really needed his friends…they left him alone. They had let him down. One had turned against him, another denied knowing him and the rest ran away.
Today we pray for those who are lonely, those who like Jesus have been let down by their friends just when they needed them most.
The Third Station: The Crown of thorns is placed on Jesus’ head
Reader: John 19:1-3
Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and slapping him in the face.
Child: Jesus experienced spiky thorns being pushed into his head as well as the taunts and jeers of those making fun of him…which is worse?
Today we pray for all innocent people who suffer at the hands of others.
The Fourth Station: Jesus takes up his cross
Reader: John 19: 17
They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out to the Place of the Skull, or as it is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.
Child: The wooden cross is heavy yet Jesus carries his own cross.
Today we pray for all who carry heavy crosses… remember Jesus said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him take up his cross.’ May we carry our own crosses with courage and trust that God is with us.
The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
Reader: Mark 15:21
They led him out to crucify him. They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross.
Child: Simon kindly helps Jesus to carry his heavy cross.
Today we give thanks for all who help others to carry their crosses each day. Is there someone we know who needs help carrying their cross?
Is there someone who has helped us to carry our cross – to whom we need to say thank you?
The Sixth Station: The Women of Jerusalem comfort Jesus
Reader: Luke 23:27-28
Large numbers of people followed him, and women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children.
Child: The women felt sorry for Jesus when they saw him suffering as he walked the road to Calvary. One reached out and wiped his face… another cried for him. Jesus felt sorry for them. Were they crying for themselves too? Often we feel sorry for ourselves…let us ask Jesus to be with all who are afraid, anxious or distressed today.
The Seventh Station: Jesus is Crucified
Reader: Mark 15:22-25
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha…they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it. Then they crucified him, and shared out his clothing, casting lots to decide what each should get. It was about the third hour when they crucified him.
Child: Jesus, an innocent man, is crucified. His clothes have been taken from him. He hangs there alone… suffering… in pain…
Today we pray for all who are suffering and in pain…especially those who are alone
The Eighth Station: Jesus dies on the Cross
Reader: Luke 23:34-36
When they reached the place of the Skull, there they crucified him and the two criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.
Child: Death is hard to understand… hard to accept. It is even harder when the one who dies is innocent of all the accusation made against them. Yet, Jesus just asked his father to forgive those who were responsible for his death.
We pray tonight for all who died and those who mourn…those who are dying and those who sit and wait with them…
The Ninth Station: Jesus is placed in the tomb
Reader: Mark 15:45-47
Pilate…granted the corpse to Joseph, who bought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in the tomb which had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joset took note of where he was laid.
Child: Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross and buried in a borrowed tomb. The stone is rolled in front of it. The end…or is it?
Extinguish the candle in your prayer space
Today we pray for all who have yet to know and understand fully the story of Jesus Christ and these days of Holy Week…let us take some time tonight to think about how we might become better witnesses to the events of Holy Week and to the message of the Gospel…
Pause to reflect…
Chant/read: O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer, when I call answer me. O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer, come and listen to me