Treasures of the Church-
the stations of the cross
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
reflections. 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, our Lord.
First Station: 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 is weak."
grant us your strength and wisdom,
that we may seek to follow your will in all things.
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested
Reader: 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 arrested him.
Mark 14: 43-46
grant us the courage of our convictions
that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring.
Third Station: 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
grant us your sense of righteousness
that we may never cease to work
to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.
Fourth Station: 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 bitterly.
Matthew 26: 69-75
grant us the gift of honesty
that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.
Fifth Station: 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
grant us discernment
that we may see as you see, not as the world sees.
Sixth Station: 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
grant us patience in times of suffering
that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.
Seventh Station: 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,
John 19: 6, 15-17
grant us strength of purpose
that we may faithfully bear our crosses each day.
Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry
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
grant us willing spirits
that we may be your instruments on earth.
Ninth Station: 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
grant us gentle spirits
that we may comfort those who mourn.
Tenth Station: 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
Luke 23: 33-34
grant us merciful hearts
that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all.
Eleventh Station: 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
grant us perseverance
that we may never stop seeking you.
Twelfth Station: 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
grant us constancy
that we may be willing to stand by those in need.
Thirteenth Station: 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
grant us trust in you
that when our time on earth is ended
our spirits may come to you without delay.
Fourteenth Station: 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
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 in heaven
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit
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.
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and