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Stations of the Cross - 2021

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A Brief History of ‘The Stations’

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:18

The Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion that goes back to the very early days of the church. This ritual, like all rituals of the Church, is intended to draw us closer to Jesus and his love. The Stations began when early Christians would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing his path to Calvary. They would pause for prayer and devotion at various points along the way. Those pilgrims brought the practice back to their home countries so that Christians who were not able to make the journey to Jerusalem could make a spiritual pilgrimage from home. During this Covid season it is fitting that we take time to reflect and do the very same; make a spiritual pilgrimage from our home.

 

Walking the Stations of the Cross this Lent - Our Sunday Visitor

 

The Stations of the Cross

All: In the name of the + Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Leader: Let us hear the Word of God regarding Christ and the Cross He bore on our behalf; And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). And let us be reminded; Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Leader: God of power and mercy, in love you sent your Son that we might be cleansed of sin and live with you forever. Bless us as we gather to reflect on His suffering in order that we might see your great love anew and learn from his example. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

The First Station

 

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

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

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Matthew 26:36-41

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

 

What Wonderous Love is

 

What wondrous love is this,

O my soul, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this

That caused the Lord of bliss

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

 

Silent Prayer

 

Lord Jesus, though you are God in the flesh, you willingly submitted yourself to the Father’s plan and suffered rejection, abandonment, and even death, all on my behalf. Thank you for your presence with me in the hard times and for interceding on my behalf. I confess that I often struggle to understand and accept the Father’s plan in my life. Help me to desire and pray in faith, “not as I will, but as you will”

 

Leader: Lord, grant us your strength and wisdom, that we may seek to follow your will in all things. Amen.

 

The Second Station

 

Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested

 

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

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Mark 14:43-46

And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him.

 

What Wonderous Love is This

 

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,

When I was sinking down, sinking down,

When I was sinking down

Beneath God's righteous frown,

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

 

A picture containing text, person, indoor Description automatically generated

The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio, (1602)

 

Silent Prayer

O Lord, as much as I hate to admit it, to myself and to you, there is a bit of Judas in me. Forgive me for the times I have pledged my love to you, only to reject you in the way I live. Help me to see where my commitment to you is mixed, where my heart is divided against itself. Set me free to be wholly devoted to you, even when I don’t understand you, even when I’m afraid that following you is too risky. Amen.

Leader: Lord, grant us the courage of our convictions that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring. Amen.

 

The Third Station

 

Jesus is Judged by Pilate

 

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

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Matthew 27:1-2, 11-14, 24-26

 

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

 

What Wonderous Love is This

 

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;

To God and to the Lamb I will sing;

To God and to the Lamb,

Who is the great I AM.

While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing.

While millions join the theme, I will sing.

Silent Prayer

 

Dear Lord, You know how easy it is for me to be like Pilate. I don’t like to take responsibility for my failures. I find rationalization to be so natural. I can fool myself into thinking I haven’t really done wrong. So forgive me, Lord, when I follow the way of Pilate. Help me to acknowledge my sins, both to myself and to You, rather than wallowing in my pointless excuses and defenses. By Your Spirit, guide me to see clearly where I have missed Your mark, so that I might confess truly and fully. Help me to experience the forgiveness You offer in Christ, and to live in the freedom of the cleansing You alone provide. Amen.

Leader: Let us pray. Lord Jesus, I’m ashamed to admit how often I wash my hands of you. Give me the courage to follow you, even when all others reject you.

 

The Fourth Station

 

Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns

 

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

 

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

John 19:1-3

 

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.

 

What Wonderous Love is This

 

And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on, I'll sing on;

And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on.

And when from death I'm free,

I'll sing His love for me,

And through eternity I'll sing on, I'll sing on,

And through eternity I'll sing on.

 

Silent prayer

 

Merciful Lord, how hard it is to read of the abuse you suffered even prior to your crucifixion. I can’t even begin to imagine what you felt, not only physically, but especially in your soul. What can I say in response but “Thank you” for walking the path of suffering and shame for my sake. You took the abuse that I deserved, and gave me your glory in return. Help me, dear Lord, to honor you as my King in all that I do. May my words and deeds reflect your love and celebrate your glory. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

 

Leader: Lord, grant us patience in times of suffering that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise. Amen.

 

The Fifth Station

 

Jesus Bears the Cross

 

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

 

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

John 19:6, 15-17

 

When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.

 

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

 

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of Glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride.

 

Silent Prayer

 

Dear Lord, you chose the cross. Yes, the religious leaders accused you. And, yes, Pilate sentenced you. And, indeed, Roman soldiers led you to Golgotha. But in a very real sense they were simply working out what God had willed and you had freely and painfully chosen. How I thank you for this costly choice! Because you took up the cross, I can take up life in all of its fullness. Because you were led to die, I can be led into the eternal life. Because you bore my sin, I can enjoy your forgiveness. How good you are to me, dear Lord, my Savior! Amen.

 

Leader: Lord Jesus, though you are the Creator of the universe, you humbled yourself and carried the sins of the world on your back. What humility and love you have shown us! Thank you Jesus our Savior and lover of humanity. Amen.

 

 

The Sixth Station

 

Jesus is Crucified

 

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

 

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Luke 23:33-34

 

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

 

When I Survey The Wonderous Cross

 

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

Silent Prayer

 

Gracious Lord, how can I ever thank you for dying on the cross for me? Your death has given me life. Your sacrifice has led to my blessing. Yet I confess that I can sometimes take your death for granted, forgetting what you did for me and neglecting its significance. Forgive me, Lord. And even while I can’t go to the actual place of your crucifixion today, may the reality of your sacrifice press itself upon my mind and flood my heart. All praise to you, merciful Lord, for Your cross! Amen

 

Leader: Lord, grant us merciful hearts that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all. Amen.

 

The Eighth Station

 

Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief

 

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

 

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Luke 23:39-43

 

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

When I Survey The Wonderous Cross

 

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

Crucifixion and the Good Thief french icon | Crucifixion, French icons, Jesus

 

Modern Icon from Lyon, France

 

Silent Prayer

 

Dear Lord, how I thank and praise you for your mercy. You give us, not what we deserve, but infinitely better. Thank you for hearing my cries to you, and for responding to me much as you did to the thief who sought your help. Thank you for remembering even me, and for the promise I have of Paradise beyond this life. There’s much I don’t understand about the afterlife, but what I know is that I will be with you, seeing you face to face. And in your presence there will be fullness of joy. That’s more than enough for me! Amen.

 

Leader: Lord, grant us humility and faith that we may never stop seeking You. Amen.

 

The Ninth Station

 

Jesus Dies on the Cross

 

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

 

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Luke 23:44-46

 

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

 

When I Survey The Wonderous Cross

 

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a tribute far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all!

Silent Prayer

 

Merciful Lord, thank you for being The Righteous One. Thank you for your perfect life and your sacrificial death. Thank you for taking my sin upon yourself, and giving me your righteousness in return. Like the centurion, I look upon your cross today with wonder. But I’m not only struck by your legal innocence. I’m astounded by your willingness to suffer and die for me, the Righteous One for the unrighteous. Amen.

 

Leader: Jesus is our Passover Lamb,

 

Who takes away our sins. Amen.

 

 

The Tenth Station

 

Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

 

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

 

People: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Matthew 27: 57-60

 

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.

 

Were You There

 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh...Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

 

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Oh...Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

 

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Oh...Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

 

Silent Prayer

 

Lord Jesus, as your body is laid in the tomb, our hearts cry out. The light of the world is extinguished. All hope seems lost. We pray, in this moment, that you would give us space to grieve and to mourn. We know the day of resurrection is coming–and for this we long. But, for now, with all that is going on in the world around us, we weep as your light goes out and our hope seems lost. We look to the coming dawn through teary eyes and burdened hearts. Stay with us Lord, for it is evening. In the name of Christ. Amen.

 

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