In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lord God, see before you your faithful people for whom your Son was content to be betrayed and crucified. As we follow his steps on the Way of the Cross fill us with your love, that we may be moved to put it into action in our lives. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
1st STATION: JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH
As we reach each Station we say:
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Pilate, the man in public office, the man of power, does what he knows to be wrong, takes the cowardly option.
Lord, may we always have the courage to do what we know to be right, and to stand up for justice. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
As we prepare to leave each Station we say::
We glory in your cross, O Lord, And praise and glorify your holy resurrection: for by virtue of the cross, joy has come to the whole world.
On the way to the next Station we recite a verse of the ancient hymn, “Stabat Mater Dolorosa”:
At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus at the last.
2nd STATION: JESUS IS MADE TO CARRY HIS CROSS
The soldiers mock him and despise him, and force him to carry the instrument of his own death.
Lord, may we never enjoy the humiliation of someone else, but rather choose to stand alongside the one who is mocked. Through Christ our Lord.
Through her soul, of joy bereaved,
bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,
now at length the sword hath passed.
3rd STATION: JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME
He falls under the burden of the cross, faint from lack of food and broken by torture.
Lord, make us strong to challenge the scandal of people going hungry in a world of plenty, and help us feed those in need. Through Christ our Lord.
O, that blessed one, grief-laden,
blessed Mother, blessed Maiden
Mother of the all-holy One.
4th STATION: JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER
His mother can do nothing more for him than offer her helpless compassion.
Lord, help us to be like mothers, full of compassion and love, for those who are rejected and lacking all support. Through Christ our Lord.
O that silent, ceaseless mourning,
O those dim eyes, never turning
from that wondrous, suffering Son.
5th STATION: SIMON OF CYRENE IS COMPELLED TO HELP CARRY THE CROSS
The soldiers pick on Simon, a foreigner, an African, and force him to help in the ghastly business.
Lord, may we never pick on the outsider or exploit the powerless, but respect their dignity. Through Christ our Lord.
Who on Christ’s dear Mother gazing,
in her trouble so amazing,
born of woman, would not weep?
6th STATION: VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
Standing at the roadside, she does what she can to ease his suffering in a simple human gesture, which is said to have been rewarded by a divine gesture, in the mark of his face on her cloth.
Lord, give us the will to act to alleviate the suffering of others, especially when they are very near. Through Christ our Lord.
Who on Christ’s dear Mother thinking,
such a cup of sorrow drinking,
would not share her sorrow deep?
7th STATION: JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
Jesus slips on the hard pavement of the city and goes down a second time.
Lord, help us to see in our own city those who aren’t coping, those who are overwhelmed by the burdens on them, and to help them. Through Christ our Lord.
For his people’s sins, in anguish,
there she saw the victim languish,
bleed in torments, bleed and die:
8th STATION: THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM WEEP FOR JESUS
The women, as so often, are the ones who bear the grief; Jesus prays for them as they must weep for their own children.
Lord, help us to work for the oppressed women of the world, to console them in their grief, and to stand alongside them. Through Christ our Lord.
Saw the Lord’s anointed taken;
saw her child in death forsaken,
heard his last expiring cry.
9th STATION: JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
His weakness overwhelms him, and he collapses at the foot of Calvary.
Lord, give us the strength to help those who are weaker than us; may we always support the weak and damaged. Through Christ our Lord.
In the Passion of my Maker,
be my sinful soul partaker,
may I bear with her my part;
10th STATION: JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
Jesus’s humiliation is complete as he is stripped naked, and his tormentors gamble for his clothes.
Lord, help us to stand alongside people who are exploited and humiliated by the sex and gambling industries and free us all from shame. Through Christ our Lord.
Of his Passion bear the token,
in a spirit bowed and broken
bear his death within my heart.
11th STATION: JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
They hammer home the nails through unresisting flesh; they are only obeying orders, and Jesus forgives them.
Give us the wisdom and strength, Lord, to resist being carried along by evil, and help us to look with pity on those who are the tools of cruel systems. Through Christ our Lord.
May his wounds both wound and heal me,
he enkindle, cleanse, anneal me,
be his Cross my hope and stay.
12th STATION: JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS
Even on the cross his concern is for others: the soldiers, the thieves, and finally his mother and friend whom he commends to one another.
Lord, give us the courage to look beyond our own lives, and to enter into the lives of others with love and concern. Through Christ our Lord.
May he, when the mountains quiver,
from that flame which burns for ever
shield me on the judgement day.
13th STATION: JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS
Concerned friends take his body down and he rests for a moment on the lap of his grieving mother.
Lord, make us bold to support those who are grieving, to overcome our reticence, to do what we can and to stand alongside them. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesu, may thy Cross defend me,
and thy saving death befriend me,
cherished by thy deathless grace;
14th STATION: JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB
The lifeless Jesus is laid hurriedly in the rich man’s tomb, and the door is sealed.
Help us, Lord, to recognise the forces that entomb us in our daily lives, and give us the courage to work for freedom. Through Christ our Lord.
When to dust my dust returneth,
grant a soul that to thee yearneth
in thy Paradise a place.
15th STATION: JESUS IS RISEN
Very early on the Sunday morning Mary Magdalene comes with the other women and finds the tomb empty; she recognises her risen Lord when he calls her by name.
Lord, we praise you for the resurrection; help us to have confidence that death is not the end, and to live in that confidence. Through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Christ crucified draw you to himself, that you may find in him a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope, and the assurance of sins forgiven; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you, now and forever. Amen.