What are the Stations of the Cross?

The Stations of the Cross are a primarily Catholic devotional practice that commemorates the death of Jesus Christ. There are 14 stations, each one standing for an event that occurred prior to Jesus’ death.

Opening Prayer

To you, O awakener of the sleeping, O raiser of the fallen, O encourager of the weary, O absolver of the sinful, O great refuge of the repentant, we entreat and plead: awaken, O Lord, our sleepiness in your mercy, shake off the heaviness of our sunkenness in your strength, and grant us, and make us worthy, to stand and serve before you purely and honorably, wakefully and diligently, O wakeful one whom the wakeful serve with their halleluiahs, and the seraphim with their hallowings, the lowly with their hymns and the nations with their adorations, O Lord of all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever.

-From Night Prayer of the First Monday of Lent

 

Lord Jesus Christ my God, I humble myself before your presence. As I come to accompany you and your Blessed Mother on the way to Calvary, grant me to feel for you with the tender feelings that she felt. May this Way of the Cross remind me of your love and of the price you had to pay for my sins.

 

Mother Mary, help me to see with your eyes, to hear with your ears, to feel with your heart and to understand with your wisdom. Help me to know the depths of the love of Christ your Son and the sorrows of your immaculate heart.

The First Station

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The First Station

Jesus is Condemned To Death

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Pilate went out again, and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

-John 19:4-6

 

Reflection

The sentence of death was the just punishment of Adam for his disobedience, O Lord, and it is what we deserve for all our sins. And yet, even when we were sinners you took our condemnation and punishment upon yourself. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

The human race was condemned to the judgment of death and the curse, but Christ accepted and was crucified in his love, to free all from the curse; the immeasurable sea of mercy gave himself over to his captors, his body tasted a temporal death, and he destroyed both death and the curse. 

-From Evening Prayer of Passion Friday

 

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Second Station

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The Second Station

Jesus Carries His Cross

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.

-John 19:17

 

Reflection

Your Cross, O Lord, which was a stumbling-block to the Jews and a scandal to the gentiles, is our greatest glory. To them it shows your weakness, but to us who watch you carry your Cross as you carry us, it shows your immense power and patience. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

The rays of your Cross, O Lord, which were hidden from the malice of your crucifiers, have soared through all creation – to the ends of the world! Indeed, the priests you have chosen to honor you extol it in the Church, and it is made a sign for the faithful, to save them from the curse.

-From Evening Prayer of Passion Friday

 

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

The Third Station

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The Third Station

Jesus Falls the First Time

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

-Philippians 2:6-8

 

Reflection

While the world fights for ambition and honor, O Lord, you chose to leave your glory in heaven and take the form of a servant. As you bowed down in inconceivable humility to wash the feet of your disciples, you fell to the earth under the weight of our sins to wash our souls from all evil. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

Who is able to tell of your grace, O Lover of Mankind, who pities all? For you have given us spiritual figures in your glorious and holy Mysteries: you taught us true humility in your works, for you lowered yourself like a servant, and washed the feet of your disciples.

-From Evening Prayer of Passion Friday

 

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Fourth Station

Station_4

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The Fourth Station

Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me.

-Lamentations 1:12

 

Reflection

As we face loss and hardship in our lives, O Lord, let us always remember the example of your Virgin Mother as she beheld you, her life, suffering so deeply, and had to let you go, in acceptance of God’s will. As you gave her the beloved disciple as his mother, give her also to us, that we may face our troubles with grace and acceptance through her prayers. For her, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

O Virgin Mother of God, surround our thoughts, for waves and storms surround us from every side. In the confidence you have before Christ, plead and implore him, that he may accomplish his mercy toward us. May he bestow health upon the sick, refreshment upon the weary, return upon those who are distant, and upon us, the forgiveness of sins.

-Marian Hymn traditionally said after Evening Prayer

 

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

The Fifth Station

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The Fifth Station

Simon Helps Carry the Cross

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

-Mark 15:21

 

Reflection

Unbelievers describe a meaningless, uncaring universe, where even human joys are empty at their root, and sufferings are entirely pointless. You have shown us, O Lord, that everything in creation is, to the eyes of faith, saturated with meaning, even our suffering, when we unite it to yours. Grant us grace to carry our crosses, and see them as your instruments of our sanctification. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

O good shepherd who gave himself for his flock and saved it by his Blood: make us worthy to share in your suffering, and accept you in your kingdom.

-From the Third Mawtwa of Passion Friday

 

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Sixth Station

Station_6

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The Sixth Station

Veronica Offers her Veil to Jesus

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;

-Isaiah 53:3-4

Reflection

God created Adam in his image, to reflect his providential care throughout the whole world. But through sin, Adam’s brightness was darkened and his face, modeled after the creator himself, was corrupted. Your face, O savior, which was wiped clean by Veronica, replaced and renewed the damaged face of Adam, when you became the new Head of the renewed human race. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

O Christ the Son who came for our salvation, to renew the image of Adam that had been corrupted, who took on our body, and through it saved our race, giving resilience for the resurrection of the dead: forgive your servants in your grace on the day of your coming!

-From Sunday Evening Prayer

 

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

The Seventh Station

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The Seventh Station

Jesus Falls the Second Time

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes, we are healed.

-Isaiah 53:4-5

Reflection

How patient you are, O Lord, though you deserve nothing of what you endured, and how impatient are we, who deserve so much more than your mercy allows to touch us! Teach us to patiently endure our sufferings, the imperfections of others in our lives, and even ourselves. Let us never give up hope, though we fall a thousand times. For this, may we thank you forever. 

Liturgical Hymn

Who is patient enough to speak of your patience with our sins? If we sin, we become filled with wickedness, if we do good, we become filled with pride; and toward one another, we are cruel and merciless: we are jealous of one who succeeds, we rejoice over one who falls. And though our life is short, the list of our sins is long.

-From Monday of Ba’utha

 

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Eighth Station

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The Eighth Station

Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

-Luke 23:27-28

 

Reflection

We are insulted when those who have hurt us are not sorry enough, O Lord, for we expect their repentance to be from the heart; and yet how easy it is for us to presume upon your kindness and feel so little sorrow for our sins! What a meager repentance after such a weighty offence! Teach us to weep tears of true repentance in your grace, that through their sincerity we may be washed and see the joy of heaven. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

Who will give me a fountain of many tears and modest thoughts, that I may erase my sins and faults through repentance? I am in need of your mercy, O Good and kind one, but because you love the repentant, I do not give up hope in my life, O Lord.

-From Night Prayer of the First Monday of Lent

 

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

The Ninth Station

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The Ninth Station

Jesus Falls the Third Time

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

-Isaiah 53:5-6

 

Reflection

O kind doctor who was wounded in order to heal us, save us from our pride, in which we convince ourselves that we need no healer. As you fell the third time, you showed us the depths of the weakness of the human race, and so remind us also to turn to you in our lowest moments for healing, after every one of our falls. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

Our wretched race is weak, and oppressed by wounds and sicknesses; and if the medicine of your mercy does not heal our wounds, our life would immediately vanish and pass away from the earth. Be, O Lord, a doctor for our wounds.

-From Shuhlapa 5 of Qala 20

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Tenth Station

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The Tenth Station

Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

-John 19:23-24

Reflection

You were humiliated, O Lord, in order to make up for Adam who was ashamed before his creator. Help us to be ashamed of our sins, but humble enough to stand before God with unveiled faces. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

When you were hanging on the Cross, O Christ, creation saw you naked and trembled: heaven darkened the light of the glorious lamp of the sun, the temple showed its lamentation in the torn veil, and earth quaked as well, for it saw the insolence of the crucifiers. Even the sleeping, in a great marvel, were awakened and arose from their graves, lifting up praise to your great power, O Lord!

-From Evening Prayer of Holy Saturday

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

The Eleventh Station

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The Eleventh Station

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.

-Mark 15:24-25

 

Reflection

Because Adam disobeyed, he was found unworthy to eat the fruit of the tree of life in paradise. Through your sacrifice, O Lord, your Cross became the true tree of life, and you the fruit which one eats and never dies. By the obedience of faith, let us be made worthy to receive you into our hearts and lives, and live in you eternally. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

The holy cross is like the tree of life in the Church, whose fruits are good for eating, and whose leaves are fit for healing.

-From Evening Prayer of the Feast of the Holy Cross

 

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Twelfth Station

Station_12

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The Twelfth Station

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

-Matthew 27:50

 

Reflection

In the nature you have created, O Lord, there is nothing more precious to a creature than his life. And yet this is exactly what you gave up for us. You accepted death – mankind’s most terrifying threat – and in doing so you gave mankind life, and life to the fullest. Make every moment of our lives full of meaning and grace by uniting them at all times to the power of your death. For this, may we thank you forever. 


Liturgical Hymn

In your love, O Lord, you were brought low, and became a sacrifice on behalf of our race: your Body tasted a temporal death and your flock was bought with your Blood. Heaven and earth, who saw your disgrace, wore garments of mourning, for you were mocked with the thieves. Blessed is he whose death has given life to all!

-From Night Prayer of Passion Friday

 

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

The Thirteenth Station

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The Thirteenth Station

Jesus is Taken From the Cross

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud, and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb, where no one had ever yet been laid.

-Luke 24:52-53

 

Reflection

The care, O Lord, with which your body was taken down from the Cross shows us the reverence due to your sacramental body, the holy Eucharist. Let us always remember the power of your presence among us, and reverence your body and blood at all times. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

Come, let us give thanks to Christ, whose revelation has freed us from error and who has reconciled us to his Father by the oblation of his body, who pacified the exalted beings who were angered because of our sin. To him be glory with his Sender!

-From Night Prayer of the First Monday of Lent

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory…

The Fourteenth Station

Station_14

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The Fourteenth Station

Jesus is Laid in the Sepulcher

 

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

 

Scripture

Joseph of Arimathea bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

-Mark 15:46

 

Reflection

You taught us, O Lord, that unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it will never become a living plant. This is the price you paid in order to open the gates of heaven for mankind. Grant us the grace to die to ourselves and rise in you. For this, may we thank you forever. 

 

Liturgical Hymn

The garden of Joseph of Arimathea has become paradise, for Christ was placed in it. The spiritual descended, and the legions of the watchers and seraphim, to visit the tomb of our Lord. Glory to you, O Lord! Glory to you, O Son of God! Blessed is he who has gladdened us by his resurrection!

-From Night Prayer of Easter

 

Baban dyli bi-shmayya…

Shlama illakh Maryam…

Shuha…

Closing Prayer

Blessed is he * who saved Adam from death * by his passion and cross * who fulfilled all the symbols * that prepared the way for him by his sacrifice * the lamb sacrificed in Egypt * which saved the people * and the serpent that Moses lifted up * that saved Israel from the poison of the deadly snakes * How much more * does the power of the Cross * destroy the poison of the deceiver * and save the Church from slavery to sin and death * To Jesus, *who saved us by his death * be glory and blessing * forever and ever. Amen.

-From Night Prayer of Holy Saturday