This year’s Stations of the Cross will be live-streamed from the Church at 10am on Saturday mornings during Lent via our YouTube channel. People will be able to pray and reflect on a different theme each week as prepared by groups in the parish.

The text of the service each week can be viewed online via the individual tabs below. It can also be downloaded in pdf form using the download buttons.
The Stations for Week 1 focus on ‘Reflecting on a Pandemic.’

The Stations for Week 2 have been prepared by the Mission Group and focus on “Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.”

The Stations for Week 3 focus on ‘Care and Community.’ Parish Friends use the Stations from ”Holy Week Voices from the Holy Land,” the book recommended by the Diocese to read during Lent. It is an inspiring Way of the Cross to use during this coronavirus pandemic.

The Stations for Week 4 , the fourth Saturday in Lent and the day before Mothering Sunday, feature Mary’s Way of the Cross.

The Lent Penitential Service takes place in Week 5, on Saturday 20 March at 10am, and incorporates Stations of the Cross.

The Stations for Week 6 have been prepared by the Parish Justice and Peace Group and feature CAFOD’s Way of the Cross.

The Stations for Good Friday at 10am, ‘Courage to Walk with Christ’, can be found here.

The Stations for Good Friday at 6pm,  ‘The  Way of the Cross for our Time,’ can be found here.

Photographs taken around the church showing the Stations of the Cross

Week 1 – Reflecting on a pandemic

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

The high priest questioned him, saying: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said to him, “I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his robes and said, “What need of witnesses have we now? You have heard the blasphemy. What is your finding?” Their verdict was unanimous: he deserved to die. Some of them started spitting at his face, hitting him and saying: “Play the prophet!” (Mark 14:61-64)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

The beginning of symptoms of Coronavirus will feel, for some, like a condemnation to death. Breathlessness, pneumonia, and the need for a ventilator will be serious and life-threatening. As Jesus is condemned to die, though innocent of any crime or charges, we too may feel the injustice of the death of innocent loved ones, family members and friends. It feels harsh, brutal, and inexplicable.

We notice too the detail of the Gospel – they spat in Jesus’ face. Spitting has become a weapon in this pandemic – spitting at police, even at NHS workers, as a sign of anger or frustration, with the intent to spread the virus. Jesus knows exactly what it is like to be spat at, exactly what it is like to be condemned to die. He walks with us.

Pause for a moment of quiet personal prayer and reflection


Second Station: Jesus carries his Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

“Here is your king” said Pilate to the Jews. But they shouted, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate said, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.” So at that Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. 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.” (John 19:14-17)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

Jesus picks up his cross. It would have been a very weighty piece of wood; enough to support a man, some feet from the ground. He has already been beaten, and had a crown of thorns put on his head. What crosses are we having to carry in these days? The cross of isolation. The cross of living with people who are hard to live with. The cross of a cramped flat, with no garden. What crosses are others carrying? Those who are refugees, or homeless. Those who have elderly relatives they cannot visit. Those who are anxious about money, or jobs. Consider for a moment the particular cross that you are carrying in this pandemic. Do you have someone who you can talk to about it? Most certainly, you can talk to Christ, in prayer. Jesus knows exactly what it is like to carry your cross.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

For my part I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle. (Isaiah 50:6)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

It is not surprising that Jesus falls over. The cross is heavy, he is weakened by loss of blood, and the midday heat in Jerusalem is fierce. The ground is uneven, and the crowds press around.

It will not be surprising if we also fall over in these pressured days. A moment when we snap at someone we are sharing a house with; a moment where we lose patience in a supermarket queue; a moment where we are reduced to tears by the sheer helplessness we feel in the face of illness, death, and confinement.

As we lie on the ground – literally and metaphorically – we can look to our side and see that Jesus is there with us, on the floor, weighed down. Together with Jesus, we find extra strength to get up and carry on.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

How much mothers suffer when they see their children suffer. It is hard to imagine the grief and distress of Mary as she sees what is happening to Jesus. And in Coronavirus wards in hospitals which mothers cannot enter, while their children struggle for breath, how deeply the pain and sorrow are felt. For children, too, who cannot visit parents, at home or in hospital, there is great stress and distress.

Jesus understands. Mary understands. And Jesus shows us his care for Mary as he entrusts her to John, the beloved disciple. It does not take away the fear and pain, but it does mean that she is not alone, as we are not alone – Jesus makes sure that we are never alone.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are you amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother  of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Fifth Station: Jesus Simon of Cyrene help Jesus to carry his Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus.” (Lk. 23:26)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

Simon is pulled from the crowd and enlisted to help Jesus. Consider the crosses that we are carrying, and that others are carrying, that we reflected on earlier. Then think about what it means to help another person to carry their cross. It could be a simple as a smile and a warm hello, as you pass the window of the neighbour in isolation. It could be a “thank you” to the supermarket assistant regulating the queue at the shop door, or to the person at the checkout, carrying their crosses of abuse as people are impatient with waiting, or with missing goods. It could be leaving a thank you card with the bins, as the bin men continue their job. It could be a donation to a food bank, a long phone call to someone with no visitors, or a generous listening ear for someone who is in despair.

To pick up the cross of another costs us time, energy, sometimes money. And it transforms us – somehow our own crosses diminish when we shoulder the burden of another. Jesus shows us what that looks like – and Simon shows us how we can step in to help. For whom can you be Simon of Cyrene, in this pandemic? Who needs help to carry their cross?

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

“Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger, and make you welcome; naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and go to see you?” And the King will answer, ”In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this for one of the least of my sisters and brothers, you did it for me.” (Mt 25: 37-40)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

What a moment of blessed relief! In the heat, dust and pain of the journey to Calvary this is a brief instant of soothing tenderness. Veronica comes  from the crowd and wipes the face of Jesus; the image of his face remains  on the cloth.

In Coronavirus wards a nurse brings a sip of water to a patient with a dry throat; another holds the hand of a dying woman, consoling her just by her presence. In a block of flats a young child writes a letter to an elderly neighbour, reaching out to them through the isolation.

These are the Veronica moments; moments of relief and kindness, tenderness and concern. And these moments make all the difference, allowing the fog of pain, loneliness and sorrow to lift, and offering hope that even in cruel circumstances, love is present.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

“Down in the dust I lie prostrate; true to your word, revive me.  I tell you my ways and you answer me; teach me your wishes. … I am melting away for grief; true to your word, raise me up.” (Ps. 119:25-26, 28)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

Again, Jesus falls. Lying in the road, tasting the dust, even as the soldiers shout and beat him to stand up, to carry on.

Again, we fall. Consumed by grief for a person whose funeral we are not permitted to attend. Despairing as our children try to continue their lessons in a cramped flat with no wifi. Frustrated and angry as the death toll rises and we feel powerless.

We fall, and we too taste the dust – the bitterness of despair, anguish and grief. And again, as we look to our side, we see that Jesus is there. And again, as we see him roughly hauled from the ground and pushed on along the road, as he staggers forward, so too we have the strength to get up and carry on. For we know that Jesus understands.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Eighth Station : Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

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.” (Luke 23:27-28)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

The tears of the women stream down their faces; they are bereft, consumed by the sadness of aching hearts, by the loss of someone so dear.

Jesus’ response seems very odd; don’t weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children. By the time Luke’s Gospel was set down in writing the listeners would know that the Jewish Temple at the heart of Jerusalem had been destroyed, in 70AD, with children killed and much of Jerusalem in  ruins.

Jesus prophesies this, and he shows us that even as he journeys to Calvary his thoughts are not about himself, but others.

As we weep in these days of Coronavirus, can we also look beyond our own grief and suffering, our own broken hearts, and weep for those who are alone, weep for those in countries with few hospitals and scarce medical supplies, weep for those who have no more tears to cry, weep knowing that even in his moments of greatest agony, Jesus is thinking about us, consoling us, grieving with us.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for a Third Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

Ill-treated and afflicted, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughter house. (Isaiah 53:7)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

Jesus falls for the third time, and in this moment he must have wondered if he would ever get up. Every part of his body is shattered, and even with Simon carrying the cross he can barely put one foot in front of the other.

We see the images of the nurses with faces marked and chafed by the elastic of masks, exhausted after 12, 14 and 16 hour shifts. We see them slumped in hospital corridors, defeated by the amount of suffering they are witnessing. And we see the single mother, living with three children in one room in a London flat, worn down by trying to cope.

As we look, perhaps we can make out the faint outline of a person sitting in the corridor with the nurse, and on the carpet of the flat with the mother. They don’t say anything, but just accompany them in their despair. That figure is Christ: fallen for the third time; with us in our moments of gravest despair; understanding exactly how we feel; never leaving us on our own.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

“They took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem, so they said to one another, “Instead of dividing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.” (John 19:23-24a)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

When Jesus dies on the cross he is naked. It is the final humiliation – all dignity stripped away as his clothes are stripped away, becoming an object for soldiers to bet on with the throw of the dice.

Christ comes into the world naked on a stable floor; he dies naked on a wooden cross. What sort of King is this? What sort of God is this?

Jesus, fully God and fully human, enters our darkest moments, is present at the times when we are humiliated, when we are robbed of dignity. Coronavirus robs us of human contact, of work, of the chance to play freely. Coronavirus strips us back to the barest essentials. What do we find, in  these moments that look so bleak? We discover and rediscover how much it matters to love, and to be loved. On the cross Jesus may be bereft  of clothes, he may be stripped and humiliated, but he is never robbed of the greatest garment of all, the essence of who he is – pure love.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

When they reached the place called The Skull, 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.”

(Luke 23:33-34)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

Jesus’ final words are words of forgiveness. What would we want our final words to be, to our loved ones and close friends.

When we leave the house to briefly shop, or exercise, what are our last words? How do we end the phone call, or the online chat?

Take a moment to consider if there is someone who needs to hear some fresh final words from you – words of love, words of peace, words of forgiveness.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

It was now about the sixth hour and the sun’s light failed, so that darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Sanctuary was torn right down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice saying, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.” With these words, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46)

Pause to pray and reflect with our heads bowed.

Reflection in the time of pandemic

The death of Jesus Christ transforms the very fact of death, forever. As we pray in the funeral Mass, “Death is life changed, but not ended.”

But for some days, months, or even years, this truth of faith does not take away the raw anguish of grief at the loss of a close friend, family member, parent or child. Our aching heart, our despairing cry, our sense of radical emptiness and loss.

By now we all know people who have died from Coronavirus. Very often no words adequately express how we feel. So the open arms of the crucified Christ can be seen as God’s embrace of all that is most raw and difficult as we grieve. And for as long as we need, we can simply allow ourselves to be held in that embrace, silently, with pure love.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.  Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission so they came and took it away. Nicodemus came as well … and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, following the Jewish burial custom (John 19:38-40)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

There are so many people who will never be able to cradle the body of their loved one in their arms, in this time of Coronavirus. And so this is a moment to pray for those who will do that for us; the nurses who will wash the body, and carefully prepare it; the undertakers who will wrap it in a shroud, and season the coffin with oils and other preparations for burial or cremation; the priest who will be at the graveside, or in the crematorium chapel, praying with and for those who cannot be present. Through each of these people, Jesus is there. And with each of these people, Jesus cradles the body of our loved one.

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reflection

At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden and in this garden a new tomb in which no-one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. Joseph of Arimathaea then rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. (John 19:41-42, Mark 15:46b)

Reflection in the time of pandemic

“There is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.” These words are from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday. Jesus’ pierced, bloodied and cold body is in the tomb, and there is silence. We wait.

For this is not the end of the story, and just as the springtime buds blossom on the once bare trees, so too the hope of Resurrection stirs in the tomb hewn from the stone. There is sorrow as we leave the graveside, but – with the women and with the disciples – we will run to the tomb the next day, and we will find it empty. Coronavirus will pass. In the Risen Lord “perfect love casts out fear” (1John 4:18) and “neither death nor any created thing whatever … will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Pause for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection


Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen


Reproduced with permission from Brentwood Catholic Youth Service

Week 2 – Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again

The First Station: Jesus is condemned to die.

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. Amen

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Jesus stands in the most human of places. He has already experienced profound solidarity with so many on this earth, by being beaten and tortured. Now he is wrongfully condemned to punishment by death. His commitment to entering our lives completely begins its final steps. He has said “Yes” to God and placed his life in God’s hands. We follow him in this final surrender, and contemplate with reverence each place along the way, as he is broken and given for us.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Let me remember all those condemned unjustly. Give me the wisdom not to ‘go along with the crowd’

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)


The Second Station: Jesus carries his cross

Hail Mary full of grace…..

Jesus is made to carry the cross on which he will die. It represents the weight of all our crosses. What he must have felt as he first took it upon his shoulders! With each step he enters more deeply into our human experience. He walks in the path of human misery and suffering, and experiences its crushing weight.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Let me take up my cross daily and ask for God’s grace to help me through each day.

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:23)


Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

Glory be to the Father…..

The weight is unbearable. Jesus falls under it. How could he enter our lives completely without surrendering to the crushing weight of the life of so many on this earth! He lays on the ground and knows the experience of  weakness beneath unfair burdens. He feels the powerlessness of wondering if he will ever be able to continue. He is pulled up and made to continue.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Remember the deprived and the lonely. It is easy to fall but divine grace is always at hand.

He has broken my teeth with gravel, pressed my face in the dust; my soul is deprived of peace. I have forgotten what happiness is. (Lamentations 3:16-17)


Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother

Hail Mary full of grace…

Jesus’ path takes him to a powerful source of his strength to continue. All his life, his mother had taught him the meaning of the words, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord”. Now they look into each other’s eyes. How pierced-through her heart must be! How pained he must be to see her tears! Now, her grace-filled smile blesses his mission and stirs his heart to its depth. Love and trust in God bind them together.

Let me dwell on the pain of all parents when their children are suffering and help seems unavailable.

Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like My suffering (Lamentations 1:12)


Fifth Station: Jesus Simon of Cyrene help Jesus to carry his Cross

Glory be to the Father…..

Jesus even experiences our struggle to receive help. He is made to experience the poverty of not being able to carry his burden alone. He enters into the experience of all who must depend upon others to survive. He is deprived of the satisfaction of carrying this burden on his own. 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

I remember the times I have struggled to bear my burdens and those who helped me.

Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me (Matthew 25:40)


Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Hail Mary full of grace…..

Jesus’ journey is at times brutal. He has entered into the terrible experiences of rejection and injustice. He has been whipped and beaten. His face shows the signs of his solidarity with all who have ever suffered injustice and vile, abusive treatment. He encounters a compassionate, loving disciple who wipes the vulgar spit and mocking blood from his face. On her veil, she discovers the image of his face – his gift to her. And, for us to contemplate forever.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Let me break through the bustle of life and offer help where it is needed.

Without beauty, without majesty we saw him, no looks to attract our eyes; despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:2-4)


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time

Glory be to the Father…..

Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the ground. In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath him. “Remember, you are just and to dust you will return”. He has seen death before. Now he can feel the profound weakness of disability and disease and aging itself, there on his knees, under the weight of his cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

When I feel abandoned by everyone let me remember how Jesus suffered for me.

Come to Me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)


Eighth Station : Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Hail Mary full of grace…

The women of Jerusalem =, and their children, come out to comfort and thank him. They had seen his compassion and welcomed his words of healin and freedom. He had broken all kinds of social and religious conventions to connect with them. Now they are here to support him. He feels their grief. He suffers, knowing he can’t remain to help them more in this life. He knows the mystery of facing the separation of death.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

How can I help and encourage those downtrodden by life’s injustices.

A large number of people followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:27-28)


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for a Third Time

Glory be to the Father…..

This last fall is devastating. Jesus can barely proceed to the end. Summoning all his remaining strength, supported by his inner trust in God, Jesus collapses under the weight of the cross. His executioners lookm at him as a broken man, pathetic yet paying a price he deserves. They help him up so he can make it up the hill of crucifixion.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Allow me, in my frequent failings, to know that God’s grace is always available.

Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11)


Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

Hail Mary full of grace….

Part of the indignity is to be crucified naked. Jesus is completely stripped of any pride. The wounds on his back are torn open again. He experiences the ultimate vulnerability of the defenceless. No shield or security protects him. As they stare at him, his eyes turn to heaven.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Remember those who suffer loss of dignity because of the inhumanity of others.

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them (John 19:21)


Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Glory be to the Father…..

Huge nails are hammered through his hands and feet to fix him on the cross. He is bleeding much more seriously now. As the cross is lifted up, the weight of his life hangs on those nails. Every time he struggles to pull himself up to breathe, his ability to cling to life slips away.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Let me remember the pain I cause when I neglect or reject the Christian way of life.

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34)


Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

Hail Mary full of grace…..

Between two criminals, a mocking title above his head, with only Mary, John and Mary Magdalene to support him, Jesus surrenders his last breath: “Into your hands I commend my spirit”.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Lord give me the peace of Christ at the end of my life.

He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross. Therefore God has exalted Him. (Philippians 2:8-9)


Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

Glory be to the Father……

What tender mourning! Jesus’ lifeless body lays in his mother’s arms. He has truly died. A profound sacrifice, complete.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Remember the tragedy of parents who receive the bodies of their children

In this has the love of God been shown in our case, that God has sent His only-begotten Son into the world as propitiation for sins (I John 4:9-10)


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

Our Father who art in heaven…

Hail Mary full of grace…

Glory be to the Father….

They take the body of Jesus to its resting place. The huge stone over the tomb is the final sign of the permanence of death. In this final act of surrender, who would have imagined this tomb would soon be empty or that Jesus would show himself alive to his disciples, or that they would recognise him in the breaking of bread? Oh, that our hearts might burn within us, as we realise how he had to suffer and die so as to enter into his glory, for us.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Lord by your Cross and Resurrection, you have redeemed the world.

Let the tomb be my source of new life. May I find light in times of darkness.

Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit (John 12: 24-25)

Lord by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free. You are the Saviour of the World.

Week 3 – Care and Community

These powerful reflections are extracted from the book “Holy Week Voices of the Holy Land” published by the Friends of the Holy Land and recommended by the Diocese of Westminster for use in Lent.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen 

Lord Jesus, during this time of severe test and trial for the whole human family, we turn to you. As we reflect on your Passion and death, help us to learn from you how to respond to the challenges we face at this time. Help us to deepen our trust and faith in you. May we be united with all who suffer at this time, and with all those who are helping others to carry their crosses. Guide us, Lord, in your ways. Purify us, Lord, in your love. Heal us, Lord, in your mercy. Lead us back into your light and your truth.  We ask this in your precious name and through your precious blood. Amen .

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Have we ever washed our hands as often as in these days of the coronavirus? Every time we touch something which could have been infected by another’s touch, we wash and wash again. Pilate washes his hands as a gesture of dismissal and denial – that he wants nothing more to do with Jesus, that he bears no responsibility for all that will follow. But Pilate’s hands will now forever be stained by guilt – the guilt of not standing up for the truth, the guilt of giving into fear of the crowd, the fear of what his superiors would do if he made the wrong move. We too are stained, infected every time we choose fear over love, compromise over truth.

Wash us, Lord, in the power of your blood.


Second Station: Jesus carries his Cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus the carpenter, who knows how to craft wood and reveal its inner beauty, receives a rough, splintered trunk of wood, hacked and hewn without any craft or care. The virus too has no concern for its victims – it spreads voraciously at every opportunity, just like our human greed and sin, which is the true burden which Jesus takes upon his shoulders. How depressing those pictures have been of young and fit people hoarding and stockpiling food while leaving the elderly and the poor with unwanted scraps. But to willingly risk our lives so as to save others, as so many doctors, nurses, medical professionals and members of the emergency services are doing at this time – this is a heroic path to walk. It is the path which Jesus walks for us. Which path will I choose? Will this crisis bring out the best or the worst in me?

Help us, Lord, to learn from your example. Strengthen all who carry heavy crosses at this time for the good of others.


Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

We are on our knees – pushed to limits most of us have never experienced before. Economies, health-care systems, food-supply chains – all stretched to breaking point. We are naturally afraid of being weak and vulnerable. We like to be in control, to be comfortable and secure. But Jesus shows us that there is grace in weakness, that we only really open ourselves up to the sufferings of others when we experience our own vulnerability and the closeness of death. The only way to raise up others is ourselves to fall beside them. Perhaps for too long too many of us have been passive bystanders in the crowd, watching at a distance the suffering, the daily struggle for survival of so many in our world without ever really being touched by their pain or moved into action. But now we are all united in this danger, there is no more “them and us”. The virus can reach us all.

Show us, Lord, how to walk together, to fall together and rise together. This is the way of the cross.


Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

During March we celebrate Mother’s Day – a day when we normally journey home to be with our mums, to thank them with chocolates and flowers for the love, the very life they have given to us. But this year, because of the virus, most of us could not risk that journey and so we could not be together to thank, to touch, to hug. This must have been one of the greatest comforts on Jesus’ walk with the cross – that Mary was there, as she always had been. She reached out to him in his agony and isolation, and shared with him the blessing of touch, of tenderness when all around was anger and rage.

Mary, at this time when so many of our family members are separated and alone, be to us a source of consolation, of contact and care. Help us to know your motherly mantle covering us all, comforting us in the pain and separation we feel.


Fifth Station: Jesus Simon of Cyrene help Jesus to carry his Cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

How much easier we find it to give help than to receive it ourselves. Being dependent on others is not a path we naturally choose. But how many in our communities live their daily lives dependent on the care of others. And in this new situation we face, with the need for social distancing and minimum human contact so as to limit the spread of the virus, it is those who are most dependent on the daily closeness and contact of others who are most vulnerable. If this virus does no other good than this, it will have been something – if it can open our eyes to the vulnerability of so many around us, often hidden away from the public eye, reliant for so much on the army of Simon of Cyrene’s who come to their aid at their time of need. Jesus, the Son of God, willingly surrenders his power and might, and becomes one of these ‘little ones’, reliant on the hands and help of another. Perhaps this is you now, or it will be you in the years to come. We need each other.

Open our eyes, Lord, to the gift of the vulnerable, to the beauty of the carer. Help us to understand that true human dignity lies in the respect and care we give to those most in need amongst us.


Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Yes, this is a time when many are dying, when many suffer in so many ways. But at the same time, in the panic and the pain, there is grace and gift. We are rediscovering the beauty of kindness, the power of seemingly small acts of love to bring comfort and hope. A concerned phone call to someone on their own, a neighbour you may hardly have spoken to before now bringing you shopping, a nation opening its windows in unison to cheer and applaud its health-care workers. Powerful because totally sincere, no self-interest, nothing in it for me, no self-promotion or profit – just real, authentic concern for the good of the other. This is what Veronica does. Moved with pity for Jesus, she steps forward from the angry crowd and presses a soothing cloth to his bloodied face to give him a sweet moment of relief from it all. And her unexpected, unsought for reward is to have his sacred image imprinted on that cloth. There is beauty in the blood. There is grace in the virus.

Lord, may we, like Veronica and her cloth, be imprinted with your own image through our acts of pure kindness, compassion and care for each other.


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Another fall. This time it takes Jesus longer to find the strength to rise again.  And yet rise he does, drawing on his Father’s love and his need to reach that cross, to offer his life for us. We too have hidden strengths within us – seldom sought but there, gifted by God deep within us. It’s not our own strength, as we like to think, which helps us to rise but the Spirit of God – a Spirit which is only revealed when we too respond to the Father’s love for us, when we too live our lives for others. This is our true self, our deepest humanity, too often hidden and lost beneath layers of self – self-interest, self-centredness, self-pity. As Jesus’ skin is scraped from his body by the jagged cross and the hard, unforgiving ground every time he falls, so may our selfishness be scraped away from us. Just like the cross, the virus is bringing suffering and pain, but may it also, like the cross, lead to a purification, a purging of our self.

Lord Jesus, in our weakness, in our falling and rising, may we discover our deepest, God-given selves.


Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Who were these ‘daughters of Jerusalem’? Perhaps a group, a sisterhood who dedicated themselves to the lamentation and consolation of their Jewish brothers condemned to death… But Jesus, when he meets them, is not concerned about his own suffering, but tries instead to awaken the women to the threat which hangs over their own lives. Within just a couple of generations, the holy city of Jerusalem, at whose gates these women weep, will be reduced to rubble and ruin. “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me but for yourselves and for your children.” Jesus’ words are not the voice of a God who wills suffering and death, but they are a passionate call to conversion and life. Violence and rebellion always lead to destruction and death. Is God allowing this virus to shake the world, as he allowed Jesus to go the cross, so as to awaken us to the dangers we risk if we continue to see ourselves as the masters of life, forgetting or even rejecting God’s place in our world? SARS, Ebola, now Covid-19 – each time the virus spreads wider and deeper. If we continue to exploit the earth, to exploit each other are we not creating the cause of our own ruin?

Awaken in us, Lord, the sincere desire to live once more in communion with you and your creation, and in solidarity with others, with a profound respect for the sanctity of life.


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for a Third Time

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

It seems like it is almost all over. The soldiers fear that this prisoner might not make it to the place of execution. They look upon him as a broken man, pathetic, crushed. And yet there is a dignity, a spirit in this man which they have never seen before. They help him to stagger on, to walk these final steps to the cross. We only discover the deepest truths about ourselves and others through sorrow, pain and suffering. Brought low we see the world around us with different eyes – patients in hospital wards, corridors and intensive care – no longer divided or defined by class, language or culture, by their political views or social status – now all are united in the struggle for life, for the next hour, the next breath. Brought low, yes, but brought together as well. The virus affects not just the poor as usual, but also presidents and princes too. It brings us all down to earth, and reminds us of our shared humanity.

Let us learn, Lord, from your humility. We all stand on the same earth, from dust we have all come and to dust we shall all return. Let us not live in injustice or division any more.


Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The condemned are crucified naked, deliberately stripped not only of their clothes but also of their human dignity. Jesus experiences the ultimate vulnerability of the defenceless – no shield or security to protect him. It is staggering that the God who formed our human bodies with such love now allows his own body to be so abused and profaned. This is how we so often return God’s love – not with gratitude and reverence but with rejection and ridicule. And yet, not all – the hands of nurses and care workers who lovingly tend the bodies of their patients… The compassion of those moved to respond to the sufferings of others by sacrificing something of themselves…

May this virus, Lord, strip us of our callousness, indifference and brutality towards each other and restore in us a tender, whole-hearted compassion.


Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Now even the freedom to move is taken away from Jesus. Huge nails are hammered through his hands and feet to pin him to the cross. The blood once more flows from his body, staining the wood and ground below. As the cross is lifted up his whole weight hangs on those nails. Gravity pulls him lower and lower. Every time he struggles to pull himself up to breathe, his strength, his ability to cling to life slips away. The gift of movement, of physical strength, of breath, of life itself is all so precious. But Lord, we have taken so much for granted – seen it as our right to have and to hold, to possess and profit.

Lord, may this virus, which threatens to take everything away from us, teach us to see life with fresh eyes – as a gift from you, to be used well, with gratitude and humility, for your glory, for our good and the good of others.


Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

For three hours Jesus hangs on the cross, with only a faithful few to support him. Every sinew in his body is pierced with pain. Every intake of breath costs him so much. It is our breathing which the virus affects, causing patients, like Jesus, to fight for every gasp. And yet, as his life ebbs away, Jesus gives his greatest lesson in love. Every precious word gasped from his mouth is a word of forgiveness, compassion and care for others: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”, “This day you will be with me in paradise.”, “Woman, behold your son.” This is total self-giving, total unconditional service and love. And then that last gasp, those final words saved for the Father: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” In these early afternoon hours, darkness covers the earth. The light of the world is extinguished, it seems. As the virus spreads, our world is also covered with a terrible darkness – of anxiety and fear, and the dread of death.

In this darkness, Lord, help us to learn from your hour of death and to be filled with faith not fear, and not with terror but with trust in you.


Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus’ lifeless body rests in his mother’s arms. A sacred embrace beyond words. After all the anger and din of the crucifixion, there is a profound silence and stillness in this intimate moment. The crowds have gone home to prepare for the Passover, although the lamb has already been sacrificed. Jesus is held in the mystery of death. He has gone before us. The virus has forced us to stay in our homes, the streets are deserted. There is a silence, a stillness around us which we have perhaps never known before. Yes, there is regret and loss, there is grief in this absence of life. But there is also something precious, a presence which invites us to listen to ourselves once more. To pause, to reflect and not live in relentless activity and distraction. In this silence God invites us to contemplate the deepest questions of our lives – what is most essential, most sacred. And yes, to contemplate death itself – but no longer in fear for Christ waits for us there. We think of all those we have known who have died.

Lord, we entrust them to your loving embrace, and ourselves as well, in the hour of our own death.


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The faithful few take Jesus’ body to its resting place. His body is placed in the grave, returned to the earth as we all one day shall be. The huge stone over the tomb seems like the final sign of the permanence of death. It represents every fear, every anxiety I allow to take hold of me, expecting defeat, struggling to believe. Why does my fear so often speak louder than my faith? Jesus promises that there is no stone, no rock, no matter how heavy, which he cannot remove. Lord, strengthen my trust, my faith in you. Scripture tells us that the tomb was in a garden – a promise of new life, of resurrection. Help us, Lord, in these dark, wintry days of the pandemic, to remember that this suffering will pass – spring will return.

Thank you, Lord, for this way of the cross. During this time of test and trial for us all, help us, Lord, to learn and live the lessons of your Passion and death. Help us to hold fast to our faith in the Resurrection.


Final Prayer

Lord Jesus, as we end this Way of the Cross, help us to be ever more united with our whole human family, for whom you gave your life. As we enter deeper into the pain and suffering of the coronavirus pandemic, may we imitate you in our compassion and care for others, and in seeking the Father’s will above all else. We ask this in your precious name and through your precious blood. Amen.

We conclude by praying an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory be for the Pope’s intention.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Week 4 – Mary’s Way of the Cross

“Mary’s Way of the Cross” follows the mother of Jesus as she walks the road to Calvary, where Jesus was crucified, emphasising her sense of surrender: “I knew it had to be, so I walked on silently.” Let us enter an intimate journey of faith through a deep reflection that will unite our pain and suffering with Jesus on the cross through the sorrowful heart of His Mother.

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

It was early Friday morning when I saw my son. That was the first glimpse I had of him since they took him away. His bruised and bleeding skin sent a sword of pain deep into my heart and tears down my cheeks. Then Pilate, from his chair of judgment, asked the crowd why they wanted my son executed. All around me they shouted, “Crucify him!” I wanted to plead with them to stop, but I knew this had to be. So, I stood by and cried silently.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is hard for me to imagine the anguish your mother felt at your condemnation. But what about today when I hold a grudge? “Crucify him!” When I judge others…? “Crucify him!” Doesn’t this bring tears of anguish to both you and your mother? Forgive me, Jesus Hail Mary…


Second Station: Jesus carries his Cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

Regaining a little strength, I walked with the crowds to the entrance of the square. A door flew open and my son stumbled out, the guards laughing behind him. Two men dragged over a heavy wooden cross and dropped it on his shoulders. Then they shoved him down the road. My pain for him was unbearable. I wanted to take the cross from him and carry it myself. But I knew this had to be, so I walked on silently.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I beg you to forgive me for the many times I have added more weight to your cross by closing my eyes to the pain and loneliness of my neighbour. Forgive me for gossiping about others and for always trying to find excuses to avoid certain people who wish to talk with me. Help me to be like Mary, always seeking to lighten the crosses of others. Forgive me, Jesus. Hail Mary…


Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

I followed close behind my son as he stumbled toward Calvary. Nothing had ever hurt me more than to see him in such pain. I saw the cross digging into his shoulders. My heart dropped when I saw him fall face to the ground, the heavy cross landing squarely on his back. For a moment I thought my beloved son was dead. Now my whole body began to tremble. Then the guards kicked him. He rose slowly and began to walk again, yet they still whipped him. I

wanted to protect him with my own body. But I knew this had to be, so I walked on and wept silently.

Prayer: Lord, how often have I seen you fall, and, unlike Mary, have left you there without concern? How often have I seen people make mistakes and laughed at them? How often do I find myself getting angry when someone does things differently than I? Mary offered you her support through your entire passion. Help me to do the same for you by the support I give to others. Lord, have mercy on me. Hail Mary…


Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

I had managed to break through the crowd and was walking side by side with my son. I called to him through the shouting voices. He stopped. Our eyes met, mine full of tears of anguish, his full of pain and confusion. I felt helpless; then his eyes said to me, “Courage! There is a purpose for this.” As he stumbled on, I knew he was right. So I followed and prayed silently.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me the many times our eyes met, and I turned mine away. Forgive me the times things did not go my way and I let everyone know about it. Forgive me the times I brooded over little inconveniences or became discouraged and did not heed your call to courage! Yes, Lord, our eyes have met many times, but fruitlessly. Hail Mary…


Fifth Station: Jesus Simon of Cyrene help Jesus to carry his Cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

I could now see almost complete helplessness on the face of my son as he tried to carry his heavy load. Each step looked as if it would be his last. I felt his every pain in my heart, and I wanted the whole thing to end. Then I noticed some commotion near Jesus. The guards had pulled a protesting man from the crowd. They forced him to pick up the back of the cross to help lighten my son’s load. He asked the guards why this had to be. I knew, and so followed silently.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I have many times refused to help you. I have been a selfish person who has often questioned your word. Don’t let me remain like Simon, but help me to be like your mother, Mary, who always silently followed and obeyed. Hail Mary…


Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

As I continued close by Jesus, a woman pushed past the guards, took off her veil and began to wipe my son’s sweating, bloody face. The guards immediately pulled her back. Her face seemed to say, “Why are you doing this to him?” I knew, so I walked on in faith, silently.

Prayer: Lord, this woman gave you the best she could. On the other hand, I have wanted to take more than I give. So many opportunities arise every day for me to give to you by giving to others —– but I pass them by. My Saviour, never let me ask why again, but help me to give all I have to you. Hail Mary…


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

Again, my son fell, and again my grief was overwhelming at the thought that he might die. I started to move toward him, but the soldiers prevented me. He rose and stumbled ahead slowly. Seeing my son fall, get up again, and continue on, was bitter anguish to me. But, since I knew this had to be, I walked on silently.

Prayer: Lord, of all people Mary was your most faithful follower, never stopping in spite of all the pain she felt for you. I have many times turned away from you by my sins and have caused others to turn away from you. I beg you to have mercy on me. Hail Mary…


Eighth Station : Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

I was walking a few steps behind Jesus when I saw him stop. Some women were there crying for him and pitying him. He told them not to shed tears for him. They had the opportunity to accept him as the messiah; like many others, they rejected him instead. He told them to shed tears for themselves, tears that would bring their conversion. They did not see the connection between that and his walk to death. I did, and as he walked on, I followed silently.

Prayer: My Saviour, many times have I acted like these women, always seeing the faults in others, and pitying them. Yet, very rarely have I seen my own sinfulness and asked your pardon. Lord, you have taught me through these women. Forgive me, Lord, for my blindness. Hail Mary…


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for a Third Time

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

This fall of Jesus was agony to me. Not only had he fallen on the rocky ground again, but now he was almost at the top of the hill of crucifixion. The soldiers screamed at him and abused him, almost dragging him the last few steps. My heart pounded as I imagined what they would do to him next. But I knew this had to be, so I climbed the hill silently behind him.

Prayer: My loving Jesus, I know that many times I have offered my hand to help people but when it became inconvenient or painful to me, I left them, making excuses for myself. Help me, Lord, to be like your mother, Mary, and never take my supporting hand away from those who need it. Hail Mary…


Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

With my son finally relieved of the weight of the cross, I thought he would have a chance to rest. But the guards immediately started to rip his clothes off his blood-clotted skin. The sight of my son in such pain was unbearable. Yet, since I knew this had to be, I stood by and cried silently.

Prayer: Lord, in my own way I too have stripped you. I have taken away the good name of another by foolish talk and have stripped people of human dignity by my prejudice. Jesus, there are so many ways I have offended you through the hurt I have caused others. Help me to see you in all people. Hail Mary…


Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

As they threw Jesus on the cross, he willingly allowed himself to be nailed. As they punctured his hands and his feet, I felt the pain in my heart. Then they lifted up the cross. There he was, my son, whom I love so much, being scorned as he struggled for the last few moments of earthly life. But I knew this had to be, so I stood by and prayed silently.

Prayer: Lord, what pain you endured for me. And what pain your mother went through, seeing her only son die for love of me! Yet, both you and she are ready to forgive me as soon as I repent of my sin. Help me, Lord, to turn away from my sinfulness. Hail Mary…


Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

What greater pain is there for a mother than to see her son die right before her eyes! I, who had brought this Saviour into the world and watched him grow, stood helplessly beneath his cross as he lowered his head and died. His earthly anguish was finished, but mine was greater than ever. Yet, this had to be and I had to accept it, so I stood by and I mourned silently.

Prayer: My Jesus, have mercy on me for what my sins have done to you and to others. I thank you for your great act of love. You have said that true love is laying down your life for your friends. Let me always be your friend. Teach me to live my life for others, and not fail you again. Hail Mary…


Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

The crowd had gone; the noise had stopped. I stood quietly with one of Jesus’ friends and looked up at the dead body of our Saviour, my son. Then two men took the body from the cross and placed it in my arms. A deep sorrow engulfed my being. Yet, I also felt deep joy. Life had ended cruelly for my son, but it had also brought life to all of us. I knew this had to be, and I prayed silently.

Prayer: Lord, your passion has ended. Yet, it still goes on whenever I choose sin over you. I have done my part in your crucifixion and now, my Saviour, I beg your forgiveness with all my heart. Help me to live a life worthy of you and your mother. Hail Mary…


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

We brought Jesus’ body to a tomb and I arranged it there myself, silently weeping, silently rejoicing. I took one more look at my loving son, and then walked out. They closed the tomb and before I left, I thought, I knew this had to be …… it had to be for you! I would wait in faith silently.

Prayer: Yes, my Lord, this had to be because you love me, and for no other reason. All you ask is that I live a good life. You never said such a life would be easy. I am willing to leave sin behind and live for you alone, in my brothers and sisters. My Saviour, thank you! Thank you for such endless love that helps me to rise out of my own sinfulness. I will try again to live a better life. Help me to always remember that love. Mary, mother of our risen Saviour, teach me to be like you, and in my love for others, love him in return.


Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Week 5 – Penitential Service

ENTRANCE HYMN – Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

  1. Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways!
    Re-clothe us in our rightful mind, in purer lives thy service find,
    in deeper reverence, praise; in deeper reverence, praise.
  2. In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the Syrian sea,
    the gracious calling of the Lord, let us, like them, without a word, rise up and follow thee;
    rise up and follow thee.
  3. O Sabbath rest by Galilee! O calm of hills above,
    where Jesus knelt to share with thee the silence of eternity
    interpreted by love! interpreted by love!
  4. Drop thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease;
    take from our souls the strain and stress,
    and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of thy peace; the beauty of thy peace.
  5. Breathe through the heats of our desire thy coolness and thy balm;
    let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
    O still, small voice of calm; O still, small voice of calm.

 

GREETING AND INTRODUCTION

Priest: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus who laid down his life for our sins.

And with your Spirit.

Priest: Father of mercies and God of all consolation, You do not wish the sinner to die but to be converted and live. Come to the aid of your people that they may turn from their sins and live for you alone. May we be attentive to your word, confess our sins, receive your forgiveness and be always grateful for your loving kindness. Help us to live the truth in love and grow into the fullness of Christ your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Amen.

Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-5

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way, they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

 

HOMILY

 

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

Based on the Stations of the Cross.

After each station we sing:

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison

First Station: Jesus is Judged and Condemned

 

In these times of the coronavirus we wash and wash again to protect others. Pilot, however, washed his hands indicating he bears no responsibility for all that will follow.

Are there times when I have judged others harshly without knowing their story?

Are there times when I have listened to or spread gossip and false statements about others?

Are there times when I have condemned others without cause and without charity?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Second Station: The Cross is Laid Upon Jesus

 

Jesus carried the crosses of his life without complaint, how do we bear the burden of isolation and separation from our loved ones?

Are there times when I have laid unnecessary burdens on the shoulders of others by neglecting my own responsibilities or not respecting regulations?

Are there times when I have burdened others with unfair expectations of them?

Are there times when I have been a burden to others by my stubbornness or wilfulness?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

 

Jesus falls under the weight of his burden but like so many others who are pushed to their limit at this time he gets up and carries on.

Are there times when I have fallen in the sight of others through abusive behaviour or comments on social media?

Are there times when I have fallen into the habit of neglecting my prayer life?

Are there times when I have fallen into habits not conducive with my Christian faith and morality?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Fourth Station: Jesus is met by his Mother

 

Mary was there with him on his final journey, we remember all those who cannot at present share in the final journey on earth of their loved ones.

Are there times when we have taken our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and others for granted?

Are there times that we may have become estranged from family members through ancient arguments or unresolved tensions?

Are there times when we have grudging responses to the needs of family members, especially the elderly and infirm?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Fifth Station: The Cross is Laid Upon Simon of Cyrene

 

Simon of Cyrene was a stranger to Jesus, may we be ever conscious of those we don’t know personally who need help.

How often have we shown unwillingness to help others with their burdens?

How often have we failed to pull our weight?

How often have we lacked a willingness to observe regulations for the good of others?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Sixth Station: Jesus Meets Veronica

 

During this pandemic, we  have appreciated more the small acts of kindness which bring comfort and hope just as Jesus received a little relief from his suffering though Veronica’s loving touch.

How often have we failed to see the face of Christ in others, especially the suffering and disadvantaged?

How often have we failed to minister to Christ in the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and needy?

How often have we failed to welcome the stranger, the prisoner and the outsider in the name of Christ?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls a Second Time

 

All around us, people are overburdened and in despair; they struggle and sometimes fall; Jesus give us your strength to get up and keep going.

How often do we fall into the same patterns of sinfulness?

How often do we fall upon material pleasures at the expense of the spiritual?

How often do we fall into defensive mode when others show up our failings?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Eighth Station: The Women of Jerusalem Weep for Jesus

 

Jesus recognised their pain and distress offering words of comfort; may we open our hearts to the suffering of all people in our World.

How often have we caused others pain and hurt by our behaviour?

How often have we failed to have sympathy with those who suffer?

How often have we discriminated against minorities or ignored people we do not like?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

 

We all get weary and fall into the same sinful habits, we become discouraged and depressed.
Help us think of the cross you carried. Help us try to make changes to our lives.  You didn’t give up; give us the strength to get up again as well.

Do we have weaknesses we fail to address and which cause us to fall into sin again and again?

Are we a stumbling-block to others who look up to us for example?

Do we fail to be charitable in our giving or in sharing our gifts and talents?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of his Garments

 

Jesus was stripped of his dignity by a braying mob. He continues to be stripped in those who have their good name taken when their details of their lives are exposed through the media.

Are we unwilling to strip ourselves of masks and be true to ourselves?

Are there ways in which disrespect the bodies of ourselves and others?

Do we strip others of their dignity by shaming or embarrassing them in the sight of others?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

 

Jesus continues to be crucified in people who are maimed, damaged or killed through violence or mental cruelty, in those dying of hunger and in those too vulnerable to defend themselves.

Are there times when we inflict pain or shame on others?

Are there times when we may have caused physical harm to others by carelessness, driving dangerously or by ignoring regulations or common sense?

Are there times when we have inflicted physical, verbal or emotional abuse on others?

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the cross

 

As Jesus’ life ebbs away his words are of forgiveness,

He challenges us to love our enemies and to let go of hurt

 

Let us pause for a moment in silence to consider how our sins made Jesus’ sacrifice necessary.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

 

Mary’s grief has been shared by so many in the past year, so many who have been unable to hold their loved ones when they are close to death. As Jesus is laid to rest in his mother’s arms let us share her mother’s sorrow and entrust her with our prayers for forgiveness and contrition, that she may intercede for us with her son:

Hail Mary……….

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

 

Jesus has taken our sins to the cross and died under their weight.

We pray now for all those we have known who have died and for those who have no-one to pray for them. We ask for the gift of faith when our own death approaches.

As Jesus awaits the hour of his resurrection when God’s power to conquer sin and death in his Son is proved, let us rejoice in the release from our sins he won for us as we confess and contemplate absolution, renewing the grace of our baptism through which we die to sin and rise to new life with Christ.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison


Let us say the Confiteor:

I confess to almighty God 

And to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned

In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault;

Therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints,

And you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

 

Priest:   May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father…….

 

ABSOLUTION

*At this point in the service, individuals would normally be invited to make an individual confession and receive absolution.

Pope Francis said recently: “I know that many of you go to confession before Easter.

Many will say to me: ‘But Father? I can’t leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me?

How can I do that unless I find a priest?’

Do what the catechism says. It’s very clear.

If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth:

‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’

Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.’

You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the Catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.”

Promising, therefore, that we will try to go to confession when it is once again available, let us meditate of God’s mercy and forgiveness, and the words we would normally hear:

Priest: God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Priest: Go in Peace

Thanks be to God

 

CLOSING HYMN: The King of Love My Shepherd Is

  1. The King of love my shepherd is,
    whose goodness faileth never,
    I nothing lack if I am his,
    and he is mine forever.
  2. Where streams of living water flow,
    my ransomed soul he leadeth;
    and where the verdant pastures grow,
    with food celestial feedeth.
  3. Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
    but yet in love he sought me;
    and on his shoulder gently laid,
    and home, rejoicing, brought me.
  4. In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
    with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
    thy rod and staff my comfort still,
    thy cross before to guide me.
  5. Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
    thy unction grace bestoweth;
    and oh, what transport of delight from
    thy pure chalice floweth!
  6. And so through all the length of days,
    thy goodness faileth never;
    Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
    within thy house forever.

Week 6 – Justice and Peace – CAFOD’s Way of the Cross

As we reflect on the final journey of Jesus, leading to his death on the cross, we also contemplate the lives of our sisters and brothers around the world living in extreme poverty. People like those living in drought-stricken Ethiopia, featured on the CAFOD 2021 Lent appeal.

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

 

“The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas’. Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’… When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on, but that a riot might break out, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd …. Pilate released Barabbas for the crowd; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.” Matthew 27:21-26

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus stands silent and composed as the crowd calls for his death. Pilate finds no guilt in Jesus, yet he is still condemned.

In our world today many are condemned to lives of hardship and poverty. Ethiopia has one of the lowest worldwide carbon footprints and yet is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Many people are impacted by the severe drought this causes.

What is our response? Do we wash our hands of our brothers and sisters or seek to act in solidarity?

 Prayer: Jesus, you know what it means to stand alone in front of those who reject you and don’t understand you. Walk with us. When we feel that we can’t make a difference, help us to keep going. Teach us to share your love.


Second Station: Jesus carries his Cross

 

“After mocking Jesus, the soldiers stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” Matthew 27:28-31

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The guards dress Jesus up as a king, with a crown made of thorns, and mock him. They give him a heavy wooden cross to carry. Jesus knows that the way will not be easy and that it will lead to his death. And yet he shoulders his burden and starts on his way.

The burden of carrying water over long distances is one that too many people must bear, including children. Mohammed is 11 and twice each day must journey alone to fetch water. It takes him three hours.

We all have burdens to carry. We also place burdens on others. In what ways do I place unnecessary loads on other people?

Prayer: Jesus, your love led you to take up the cross. Walk with us. When we feel afraid, help us to be brave. Give us the courage to speak out to change our world, so that all our sisters and brothers can experience justice.


Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

 

“He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 Burdened by his heavy cross, worn down by fatigue and pain, Jesus falls.

Abdella knows what it is to be totally exhausted. This young farmer who lives in northeast Ethiopia, one of the hottest parts of the world, must spend ten hours every day on the long walk to collect water for his family. Abdella says, “I don’t have any more words to express how hard this is. I’m so tired, I’m struggling to give you words. The journey for water is so long.”

The choices we make have an impact on other people both near and far. In what way do my choices cause others to stumble?

 Prayer: Jesus, you know how it feels to struggle and to fall. Walk with us. Show us how to walk with others to know what it feels like to be in another’s shoes. You reach out to us with caring hands. Show us how to join our hands with communities around the world who are bringing hope to their people.


Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother

 

“Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:33-35

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 This was the fulfilment of Simeon’s prophecy, the sword that ran through Mary’s soul. She who nurtured Jesus as a baby, witnessed his first steps and words, now meets her son on this final journey. What pain Mary must have felt, unable to reach out to help or comfort Jesus. Yet she remains present and steadfast.

So many mothers throughout the world grieve; with empty hands unable to feed their hungry children or get medicine and care for their families.

Let us look to the example of Mary and not turn our faces away from those who are suffering.

 Prayer:  Jesus, you looked through the crowd and saw your mother’s eyes. Her love gave you the strength to carry on. Walk with us. When we don’t want to listen, open our ears to hear. When it would be easier to look away, open our eyes to see.


Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene carries the Cross

 

“The soldiers compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.” Mark 15:21

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 Simon of Cyrene comes into the city of Jerusalem on the day of Jesus’ death. He finds himself in the crowds along Jesus’ pathway to Golgotha and is enlisted to help carry his cross. He does not know Jesus but lends his strength to carrying the heavy weight of the wood.

Abba Tesfalem lives in northern Ethiopia, in an area prone to severe droughts. There is very little paid work available and it is often a struggle to support his family. At one point he was forced to take a loan just to buy bread for them to survive.  Despite his own hardship, Abba Tesfalem still reaches out in generosity and kindness to others in need.

Do we look for opportunities to help others, or do we try to keep out of the way, telling ourselves that it is not our responsibility?

Prayer: Jesus, you know what it means to depend on someone and to need their help.

Walk with us. When my friends need help, teach me to work with them to lighten their load.

Show me how to listen carefully so that I can offer what they need. We are your global family of many different colours, cultures and religions.  Make us one family united in you.


Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

 

“And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of our family, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:37-40

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Moved by Jesus’ pain, Veronica’s love overcomes her fear and she courageously steps forward to wipe the blood and sweat from Jesus’ face.  She cannot change his fate, but recognising his dignity, she faithfully performs her small act of compassion. As the guards force Jesus onward, the image of his face is left on Veronica’s veil.

We too are called to compassion. It is easy to be discouraged by the scale of poverty and need in the world, but each day offers us the opportunity to perform small acts of kindness and generosity. In so doing, we recognise the face of Jesus in our neighbour and he imprints his face on each of us.

Do we look for opportunities to do small acts of generosity and love? Are we attentive to the face of Christ in our brothers and sisters?

Prayer: Jesus, you know how it feels to be hurt and to cry out in pain and fear. Walk with us.

Show us how to walk together with others. Show us how to love the people around us and to be there for those who need us.


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time

 

“Come to me all you who labour, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Under the weight of the cross, Jesus is once again brought to his knees. After this second fall, Jesus’ struggle to rise up again is much harder.

We think of the people of Ethiopia, many of whom have faced poor harvest after poor harvest due to droughts. They show great resilience and strength in continuing to work for a better future. We think of those who are struggling to hold onto hope due to the daily struggle against natural disasters and lack of opportunity.

How can we live in solidarity with those who feel despondent or invisible?

Prayer: Jesus, you stumbled and fell. You lost strength and became tired. And yet you carried on.

Walk with us. When we find it hard to keep going, give us the strength we need  to finish our work as well as we can and show love to others.


Eighth Station : Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

 

“A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.” Luke 23:27-28

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

As Jesus draws closer to the place of execution, he encounters the women of Jerusalem weeping for him. There is a shared empathy here as Jesus recognises their difficulties and tells them not to weep for him, but for themselves and their children.

As we recall this exchange, we remember the many societies where women face huge challenges.

Almaz lives in northern Ethiopia, where drought and lack of safe water are daily problems. She reflects; “The role of the woman in the home is very difficult. So difficult. All the activities in the home belong to me. I have to get food for my children and my husband – even preparing their clothes, washing. To get water, we travel long distances. When we gather, there are many people at the water point and you wait your turn, many times about five hours.”

What causes us to weep? Which situations in the world make us cry out to God?

Prayer: Jesus, you cared and spoke out, even on the road to your death. You knew and felt the struggles of others. Walk with us. As we hear the stories of our sisters and brothers who live in poverty, give us the courage to raise our voices, so that together we can work for change.


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for a Third Time

 

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus falls a third and final time. He must surely now be completely drained, and yet he finds the strength to rise and continue on his path to Calvary.

Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed by difficulties: illness, caring responsibilities, loneliness, anxiety, our own moments of weakness and failure. Sometimes the challenges of facing our global family – climate change, poverty and injustice – can feel overwhelming, impossible to address.

Love gave Jesus the strength to stand again and continue onwards. We pray for ourselves, and for all those who need strength and courage, that in the face of so many struggles, Christ’s love will urge us on.

Prayer: Jesus, you felt the darkness around you, the crowds surrounded you. You fell once more.

Walk with us. When we lose hope, when everything is just too difficult, show us how to reach out to each other and hold hands, so that none of us have to do everything on our own.

Help us to know that you walk alongside us even when we feel most alone.


Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments

 

“The soldiers took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic…” John 19:23-24

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus has nothing left. Arriving at his place of execution, even his clothes are taken from him. Stripped of his dignity he holds nothing back.

The refugees of our world have been stripped of their homes, their families, their communities, and their hopes for the future. Often they face the added difficulty of being met with hostility and mistrust when they try to make a new home in a safer place.

Do we recognise the dignity of all human life? What am I being called to do for those who have been stripped of so much?

Prayer: Jesus, you sacrificed everything and endured mockery for our sake. Walk with us. When we value possessions more than people, or look down on someone who has less, show us your face in theirs.


Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

 

“When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.” Luke 23:33-34

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The soldiers drive the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. Yet even in this moment he shows his compassion, praying for those who crucify him.

Jesus continues to be crucified in all who suffer in our world. He is present in those whom society marginalises, people who are hungry or homeless, refugees or asylum seekers. He is crucified in the exploitation of our common home, the earth and its resources.

As followers of Jesus, may we show his compassion and so be a source of hope for all our brothers and sisters, our global family, and our common home, the earth.

Prayer: Jesus, you cry out in pain. Walk with us. Challenge us –when we hold people back,  when we don’t treat them with respect. Help us to remember that everyone is equal, that we are all made in the image of God.


Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

 

“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. “John 19:28-30

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Just before he dies on the cross Jesus cries out that he is thirsty. We can hear him continue to say these words to us, in our brothers and sisters who each day must strive for enough water simply to survive.  These last words of Jesus challenge us. They call us to see his face in all those who thirst and reach out to them in love. They invite us to make the connections between how we live as individuals and nations and the devastating effect climate change is having on our vulnerable world.

 Prayer: Jesus, you know what it’s like to feel alone, lost and afraid, betrayed and abandoned. Walk with us.  and show us how to walk with others, who live in fear and face death through hunger, thirst and conflict. Show us how to pray for sisters and brothers that we have never met, but who are always loved by you


Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

 

“Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed the body.” John 19:38

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The bodies of those crucified were usually left on the cross to decay. Joseph of Arimathea has been a secret follower of Jesus, but now he finds the courage to go to Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body. He acts despite the fear he must have felt, in order to ensure the lifeless body of his teacher is, at least now, treated with dignity and gentleness.

We pray that at times of difficulty we too will choose to do what is right. That we will commit to compassion and uphold dignity.

 Prayer: Jesus, you knew what it meant to have friends, who risked their own lives to take your body from the cross. Walk with us. Show us how to be friends to those close to us and to those far away. Teach us to see you in everybody, to be kind, loving and strong. To be like you.


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

 

“Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where the body was laid.” Mark 15: 45-47

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

There has been little time to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Joseph has to move quickly to place it in the tomb before the Sabbath begins. He wraps it in a simple linen cloth and rolls the stone over the door. The disciples have scattered in fear and grief and it seems like the end.

We too must act quickly if we are to protect our common home, the earth, for future generations. We pray that we may have a sense of urgency and hope, even in dark times, as we seek to make a difference.

Prayer: Jesus, as you were sealed in the tomb those who loved you felt sad and alone. They did not know what to do.  Walk with us. Guide us in difficult times, so that we can share you with our sisters and brothers when they feel sad and alone.


Fifteenth Station: Jesus rises from the dead

 

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen.” Luke 24:5

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 Jesus is alive. He has conquered death and is here among us. His resurrection opens the way of hope and assures us that injustice, pain and death can be overcome. As we reflect on Jesus’ final journey, we pray for the strength to live each day as people transformed through God’s love. May we radiate God’s love to all of creation.

Prayer: Jesus, you share your life, your light and your peace with us all. Walk with us.

Show us how to live out your love so that our sisters and brothers, here and around the world, may know the joy of new life. May we all be changed by living in your light.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen