Stations of the Cross- The Way of the Cross

Please note that more information about this resource can be found at the end of this set of stations. Many stations include images by artists from the parish family.

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 16.24,25 Once we were far off, but now in union with Christ Jesus we have been brought near through the shedding of Christ’s blood, for he is our peace. – Ephesians 2.13,14

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.

1:  Jesus in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ – Mark 14.32-36. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Christina

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

2:  Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him.  – Mark 14.43-46. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Greg

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

3:  Jesus condemned by the Sanhedrin

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands”.’ But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I am; and “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power”, and “coming with the clouds of heaven”.’ Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death.  –Mark 14.55-64. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Chris

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

4:  Peter denies Jesus

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark

At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept- Mark 14-72.     Reflection or meditation may follow 

Station artists: Mo, Rupert & Sophie

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

5:  Jesus is judged by Pilate

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark

Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. – Mark 15.14,15. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Howard

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

6:  Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.  – Mark 15.17-19. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: NJ

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

   7:  Jesus carries the cross

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. –Mark 15.20. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artists: Maureen

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

8: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. – Mark 15.21. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Aby

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

9:  Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke.

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.’                                 Luke 23.27-28

The women of Jerusalem wept when they saw how Jesus suffered. Jesus recognised their distress, he broke his silence for the first time, spoke to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem do not weep for me. Weep for yourselves and for your children’.        Irish meditation. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Zoe

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

10:  Jesus is crucified

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. – Mark 15.24. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Rosemary

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

11: Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke.

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? 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 have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’     –Luke 23.39-43. Reflection or meditation may follow.e

Three chapel candles lit for you this Holy Week

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

12:  Jesus on the cross; his mother and his friend

A reading from the Gospel according to John.

Then Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.-   John 19.26,27. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artists: Notridge family

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

13:  Jesus dies on the cross

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. –Mark 15.34-37. Reflection or meditation may follow.

Station artist: Don

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

14: Jesus laid in the tomb

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.-Mark 15.46. Reflection or meditation may follow.                                  

Station artist: Joyce

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Holy God,  holy and strong, holy and immortal,  have mercy upon us.

The Conclusion

Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom in the words our Saviour taught us:

The Lord’s Prayer is said.

Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Christ was manifested in the body, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels,  proclaimed among the nations, believed in throughout the world,  glorified in high heaven.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

The Lord be with you: and also with you.

May God bless us, that in us may be found love and humility, obedience and thanksgiving, discipline, gentleness and peace.  Amen.

The Way of the Cross- a brief history

The following remarks are taken from the Liturgical resources of the Church of England, and the service has been adapted for St Jude’s Brighton, but is based on the one found among the Lent resources at: www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship/churchs-year/times-and-seasons/lent

The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion at Passiontide for many centuries because they enable us to engage actively with the path of suffering walked by Jesus. They originated when early Christians visited Jerusalem and wanted to follow literally in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. They would pause for prayer and devotion at various points. Eventually those pilgrims brought the practice back to their home countries and ever since then Christians of differing traditions have used this form of devotion.

In the late fourteenth century the Franciscans were given the responsibility for the holy places of Jerusalem and they erected tableaux to aid the devotion of the visitors. These kinds of images are now commonplace inside churches, and occasionally outside them.

The number of stations has varied immensely through the centuries from as few as five to as many as thirty-six, but the now traditional number of fourteen was established by Clement XII in 1731 – nine scriptural stations and a further five based on popular devotion. However, owing to the increasing ecumenical popularity of this devotion there have been attempts to create a wholly scriptural set on which to focus.

The selection of stations presented here all have their root in the biblical story of Jesus rather than drawing on legend or popular, yet unscriptural, stories. This development makes the Stations of the Cross more accessible to all traditions within the Christian Church.

The recent rediscovery of the unity of the death and resurrection of Jesus has also led to the inclusion of a fifteenth station – the Resurrection. Though this may be superseded by the emergence of the Stations of the Resurrection as part of popular devotion, it is strongly suggested that this station be included, especially if the stations are used outside Lent and Passiontide.