Stations of the Cross – 5th Station

V Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

In desperation on this road of tears
Bystanders and bypassers turn away
In other’s pain we face our own worst fears
And turn our backs to keep those fears at bay
Unless we are compelled as this man was
By force of arms or force of circumstance
To face and feel and carry someone’s cross
In Love’s full glare and not his backward glance. Continue reading “Stations of the Cross – 5th Station”

Stations of the Cross – 4th Station

IV Jesus meets His Mother

This darker path into the heart of pain
Was also hers whose love enfolded him
In flesh and wove him in her womb. Again
The sword is piercing. She, who cradled him
And gentled and protected her young son
Must stand and watch the cruelty that mars
Her maiden making. Continue reading “Stations of the Cross – 4th Station”

Stations of the Cross – 3rd Station

III Jesus falls the first time

He made the stones that pave the roads of Zion

And well he knows the path we make him tread

He met the devil as a roaring lion

And still refused to turn these stones to bread,

Choosing instead, as Love will always choose,

This darker path into the heart of pain. Continue reading “Stations of the Cross – 3rd Station”

Stations of the Cross – 2nd Station

II Jesus is given his cross

He gives himself again with all his gifts

And now we give him something in return.

He gave the earth that bears, the air that lifts,

Water to cleanse and cool, fire to burn,

And from these elements he forged the iron,

From strands of life he wove the growing wood,

He made the stones that pave the roads of Zion

He saw it all and saw that it is good. Continue reading “Stations of the Cross – 2nd Station”

Stations of the Cross – 1st Station

I Jesus is condemned to death

The very air that Pilate breathes, the voice

With which he speaks in judgment, all his powers

Of perception and discrimination, choice,

Decision, all his years, his days and hours,

His consciousness of self, his every sense,

Are given by this prisoner, freely given. Continue reading “Stations of the Cross – 1st Station”

The Stations of the Cross – Conclusion

To conclude the Stations all say the Prayer of St Richard

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for all the benefits you have won for us, for all the pains and insults you have borne for us. Most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.
Amen! Continue reading “The Stations of the Cross – Conclusion”

14th Station of the Cross – Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

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 recognize him in the breaking of bread?  Oh, that our hearts might burn within us, as we realize how he had to suffer and die so as to enter into his glory, for us.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “14th Station of the Cross – Jesus is Laid in the Tomb”

12th Station of the Cross – Jesus Dies on the Cross

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

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “12th Station of the Cross – Jesus Dies on the Cross”

11th Station of the Cross – Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross

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.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “11th Station of the Cross – Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross”

10th Station of the Cross – Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

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 defenseless. No shield or security protects him.  As they stare at him, his eyes turn to heaven.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “10th Station of the Cross – Jesus is Stripped of His Garments”

9th Station of the Cross – Jesus Fall a Third Time

This last fall is devastating.  Jesus can barely proceed to the end.  Summoning all this remaining strength, supported by his inner trust in God, Jesus collapses under the weight of the cross.  His executioners look 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.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “9th Station of the Cross – Jesus Fall a Third Time”

7th Station of the Cross – Jesus Falls a Second Time

Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the ground.  In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath him.  “Remember, you are dust 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.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “7th Station of the Cross – Jesus Falls a Second Time”

6th Station of the Cross – Jesus and Veronica

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.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “6th Station of the Cross – Jesus and Veronica”

5th Station of the Cross – Jesus Is Helped by Simon

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.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “5th Station of the Cross – Jesus Is Helped by Simon”

4th Station of the Cross – Jesus Meets His Mother

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.

Reader:    We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:    Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world.
Continue reading “4th Station of the Cross – Jesus Meets His Mother”

3rd Station of the Cross – Jesus Falls the First Time

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.

Reader:    We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:    Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “3rd Station of the Cross – Jesus Falls the First Time”

2nd Station of the Cross – Jesus Bears His Cross

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.

Reader:    We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:    Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world.
Continue reading “2nd Station of the Cross – Jesus Bears His Cross”

1st Station of the Cross – Jesus is Condemned to Death

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.

Reader:    We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:    Because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world. Continue reading “1st Station of the Cross – Jesus is Condemned to Death”

The Stations of the Cross – An Anglican Liturgy

The Gathering

The ministers enter in silence.

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

Jesus told his disciples,
`If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves
and take up their cross and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.’
Matthew 16.24

Peace to you all

And also with you Continue reading “The Stations of the Cross – An Anglican Liturgy”