following stations of the cross are based on those celebrated
by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. They are presented
here as an alternative to the traditional stations1
and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural
accounts of Christ's passion.
The presiding minister may be a priest,
deacon, or layperson. This minister prays the opening
and closing prayers, leads the acclamation, announces
the stations, and says the prayer that concludes each
station. One or more readers may read the Scriptural
A period of silence should be observed between the Scripture
reading and the prayer.
A crossbearer accompanied by two candlebearers
may stand in front of each station as it is announced.
As the cross- and candlebearers move between the stations,
all may sing a verse of the Stabat Mater (At the Cross
Her Station Keeping - traditional) or an appropriate
antiphon, such as Parce Domine (traditional, various
settings) or Crucem Tuam (Berthier, GIA),
Before each station:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
After each station:
Lord Jesus, help us walk in your steps.
God of power and mercy,
in love your 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 and death
that we may learn from his example
the way we should go.
We ask this through that same Christ,
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I
go over there and pray." He took along Peter and
the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and
distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful
even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me."
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass
from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch
with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not
undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh
Lord, grant us your strength and wisdom,
that we may seek to follow your will in all things
Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested
Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of
the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords
and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the
scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a
signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss
is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely."
He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi."
And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and
Mark 14: 43-46
Lord, grant us the courage of our convictions
that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news
Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin
Reader: When day came
the council of elders of the people met, both chief
priests and scribes, and they brought him before their
Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah,
tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell
you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will
not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will
be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?"
He replied to them, "You say that I am." Then
they said, "What further need have we for testimony?
We have heard it from his own mouth."
Luke 22: 66-71
Lord, grant us your sense of righteousness
that we may never cease to work
to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.
Jesus is Denied by Peter
Reader: Now Peter was
sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came
over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus
the Galilean." But he denied it in front of everyone,
saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!"
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and
said to those who were there, "This man was with
Jesus the Nazorean." Again he denied it with an
oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later
the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely
you too are one of them; even your speech gives you
away." At that he began to curse and to swear,
"I do not know the man." And immediately a
cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus
had spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny
me three times." He went out and began to weep
Matthew 26: 69-75
Lord, grant us the gift of honesty
that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.
Jesus is Judged by Pilate
Reader: The chief priests
with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole
Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him
away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned
him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said
to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests
accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned
him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they
accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer,
so that Pilate was amazed.... Pilate, wishing to satisfy
the crowd, released Barrabas... [and] handed [Jesus]
over to be crucified.
Mark 15: 1-5, 15
Lord, grant us discernment that we may see as you see,
not as the world sees.
Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the
soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on
his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they
came to him and said,"Hail, King of the Jews!"
And they struck him repeatedly.
John 19: 1-3
Lord, grant us patience in times of suffering
that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.
Jesus Bears the Cross
Reader: When the chief
priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, "Crucify
him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take
him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him."
... They cried out, "Take him away, take him away!
Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall
I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered,
"We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed
him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus,
and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is
called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
John 19: 6, 15-17
Lord, grant us strength of purpose that we may faithfully
bear our crosses each day.
Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross
Reader: They pressed
into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was
coming in from the country, the father of Alexander
and Rufus, to carry his cross.
Mark 15: 21
Lord, grant us willing spirits that we may be your instruments
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Reader: A large crowd
of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned
and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters
of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves
and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming
when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never
nursed.' At that time, people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!' and to the hills, ‘Cover
us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green
what will happen when it is dry?"
Luke 23: 27-31
Lord, grant us gentle spirits that we may comfort those
Jesus is Crucified
Reader: When they came
to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and
the criminals there, one on his right, the other on
his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them,
they know not what they do."]
Luke 23: 33-34
Lord, grant us merciful hearts that we may bring your
reconciliation and forgiveness to all.
Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief
Reader: Now one of the
criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are
you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The
other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have
you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same
condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he
said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your
kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say
to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Luke 23: 39-43
Lord, grant us perseverance that we may never stop seeking
Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple
Reader: Standing by the
cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister,
Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus
saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
John 19: 25-27
Lord, grant us constancy that we may be willing to stand
by those in need.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
Reader: It was now about
noon and darkness came over the whole land until three
in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then
the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus
cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands
I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this
he breathed his last.
Luke 23: 44-46
Lord, grant us trust in you that when our time on earth
in ended our spirits may come to you without delay.
Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea
named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He
went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then
Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body,
Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his
new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled
a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
Matthew 27: 57-60
Lord, grant us your compassion that we may always provide
for those in need.
Lord Jesus Christ,
your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites
earth and heaven
and reconciles all people to you.
May we who have faithfully reflected on these mysteries
follow in your steps and so come to share your glory
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy
one God, for ever and ever.
Scripture excerpts are taken from
the New American Bible with Revised New Testament Copyright
© 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,
Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights
reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce
these excerpts in free distribution of these stations.