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Stations of the Cross

What Are Stations of the Cross?

Stations of the Cross are a lovely Lenten tradition. It the devotion, we make the journey to Calvary with our Lord Jesus Christ, focusing on how he suffered for us and his interactions with those he met on the way.

This devotion is sometimes called the Way of the Cross.

This devotion is appropriate for all ages. It is a good youth group activity. Or attend on a Friday evening after your parish fish fry. Although younger children might not understand every word, they can soak in some of the experience.

If possible, actually walk the stations rather than staying in the pew. It gives it the feeling or really being on that journey with Jesus. And it gets you closer to the art for the stations so you can see the details. Seeing the art close up can really enhance this experience.

Can Anyone Do Stations of the Cross?

If you cannot get your family to a scheduled way of the cross devotion at your parish, you can also do it on your own. Do it in your own parish church or chapel sometime when it is open. Many areas have outdoor stations of the cross which you can visit on your own time. Check with your local diocese, shrines, and retreat centers.

See below for some suggested resources for the prayers.

You can even do this devotion in your own home. Create your own hand drawn stations of the cross and then walk the way with Jesus. The USCCB has some different adaptations of Stations of the Cross which you can use if you do the devotion on your own.

Prayers for Each Station

First Person Stations of the Cross

This mediation will take youth through the way of the cross. They will see each station as if they were there. The prayers are meant to relate to their own lives. This is appropriate during Lent or even if you will be offering youth an opportunity for reconciliation soon.

Stations for Overcoming Racism

Sample: First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

An innocent man is about to be killed, and the laws of the land will not protect him. A crowd has gathered – not to protest, but to cheer. Government leaders are indifferent, more concerned about politics than justice.

Racism leads to many forms of injustice: sometimes death, sometimes imprisonment, sometimes closed doors and lost opportunities. We may not be in a crowd cheering the evil deed, but are we indifferent? It is easy to remain silent even though we may have an opportunity to speak up. Do we object to an inappropriate “joke”? Do we advocate for justice when we have access to people in power? Do we work to open doors in the workplace? Will we be like Pilate and the crowd, or will we use our opportunities to create opportunities for others?

ALL: Christ Jesus, you were a victim of injustice, condemned by those who had the power to
save you and ignored by those who might have spoken up on your behalf. Help us to use the
opportunities we have to speak out against the injustices around us, knowing that you desire
justice for all.

A Scriptural Way of the Cross for Lent

Sample: 3rd Station: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
We pray for those who are unjustly persecuted.
Scripture Reflection: Luke 22: 66-71
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

Group Reflection:
There are times in every person’s life where we have been wrongly accused of behaving unjustly. What happens though, when the unjustly accused are sent to prison, or even sentenced to death? We know this happened to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. What are the ways that we are called to ensure that this doesn’t continue to happen to people in our world today?

Ecumenical Stations of the Cross

Sample: The 2nd Station: Jesus takes up his Cross.

READER: After severely whipping and beating Jesus, soldiers dress him in a roy al purple robe, and place a crown of sharp thorns on his head. Then they humiliate him, shouting “Hail, King of
the Jews!” He is given an impossibly heavy wooden cross to carry to Calvary, the place where he will be crucified.
PRIEST / LEADER: We imagine that we see Jesus pick up his heavy Cross. If we tried to lift it, it
would be too heavy. “Can Jesus carry this heavy Cross by him self all the way to Calvary?” we wonder. Jesus patiently, lovingly lifts the Cross to his shoulder, knowing that this is what
his Father wants him to do: to save us from the punishment of our sins, and to carry the Cross for us.
ALL: Dear Jesus, I am afraid when my problems seem too heavy for me. Give me the grace I need to do the hard things I must do, and the wisdom to turn to you when I need help. I know you are always here to help me, especially in difficult times. Teach me to be kind, because now I can see how much you suffer when I hurt other people or disrespect them.

Were you there as he fell beneath the Cross?
Were you there as he fell beneath the Cross?
Ah, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there as he fell beneath the Cross?


Bishop Robert Barron Reflects on Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross is an ancient Christian devotion that draws us into the spiritual space of Jesus’ suffering and death. In this video, Bishop Robert Barron gives background information and an in depth explanation of each station.

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