The Stations of the Cross Preparatory We are followers of the way, followers on the wayon the Via Crusis

, the Via Dolorosa. Shall we ascend with him? Let us also go that we may die with him. Jesus, King of Glory, be lifted up in my thoughts, in my prayers, in my life. 1 Jesus is Condemned To Die It begins here on the pavement with unyielding stone, at the judge’s seat where Pilate says to me, “Shall I release him?” And how should I respond? Yes! Release the innocent man. Let justice roll down; let righteousness ring! Yet… let him be crucified; let him be killed, though I say this out of self-interest. Jesus, Infinite Goodness, what Pilate did once I would do again and again. Forgive me.

2 Jesus Carries his Cross Place the beam upon his shoulders for this is nothing new the carpenter carries lumber to construct the things we need: a farm implement, a table, a roof beam… but what will the carpenter of Nazareth build with this? Jesus, Father of the World to Come, maker of the heavens and the earth, make me anew; shape me to your image that I may dwell in the house you’ve built. 3 Jesus Falls the First Time Talk about the passion. How long? Talk about the pain. How long? Not everyone can carry the weight of the world. Even Jesus stumbles; even Jesus falls. How long? Jesus, Most Patient, how long will you put up with me and with my faithlessness? I do believe; help my unbelief.

4 Jesus meets his mother Now the words of aged Simeon return to her, “…he will be opposed and you yourself shall be pierced…” pierced through the soul with the sword of grief and pain. Come all you who pass by, and observe. Is there any suffering like her suffering? Jesus, Our Refuge, we stretch out our hands but there is none to comfort us our comfort is far from us. We have no one to restore our courage, no one to revive our hearts and our children are desolate. 5 Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross Seize Simon, the man of Cyrene seize him from his serenity; shake his sun darkened skin as from the country he comes in. Seize him! He will carry the cross for the Nazareneif anyone will follow he must take up his cross. Jesus, Sun of Justice, speak truth and set the captives free. Break the bands that bind, and acquit the honest man, falsely accused. Release us and we shall be released.

6 Veronica You gave him comfort and a moment of tenderness here on this, the road of his suffering. This is compassion – that you shared his pain and carried his victory even as you carried his image. Jesus, Victorious, Champion of Heaven, conqueror of sin, give us the strength to run, to endure that we may wear the victor’s crown. 7 Jesus Falls the Second time We fall; we get up. We fall; we get up. This is what it means to be a follower of the way. Jesus, Most Admirable be my guide; I will follow. When I am beaten down, discouraged, I will look to you and I will rise up renewed.

8 Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem When the weeping daughters of Jerusalem, the wailing daughters of Zion, cried out for him, Jesus – himself on the way to death comforted them with these words: “Weep for yourselves instead, and bless the barren wombs and unsuckled breasts, for if they will do this now when the wood is green, how great the fire when the wood is dry!” But this is strange comfort. Jesus, Father of the Poor, of the alien and the stranger, and of the widow, hear the prayers of your people: Give us bread when we are hungry. Care for us when we are sick. Cover us when we are naked. 9 Jesus Falls the Third Time There is no soundness in this flesh, no strength within these bones utterly spent, ready to fall, again. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD; though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down. Jesus, Strength of the Martyrs I am weak; I am frail and I often fear. How can I follow in your steps except that you strengthen me?

10 Jesus Is Stripped of his Garments. What need does one like this, despised and rejected as he is, have for fine clothes such as these? He is a worm, not a man; divest him of his robe; strip him bare. Let him be exposed for all to see. Throw the dice and roll the bones to see which of us will win. Jesus, Clothed in Righteousness, pure and unashamed, I have not prospered; I am sick and wretched, poor and naked. But clothe me, Lord, and I will keep watch; I will keep the garments you give me. 11. Crucifixion At the place of the skull where bleached and broken bones were strewn upon the ground, where shattered cries of grief were scattered to the winds, there they raised him on the stake, lifted up, lifted high. He screams in pain and breathes his last. And sitting down, sitting down upon the ground, we watch him die. Jesus, Author of Life Holy One, Righteous One, murdered when the murderer was released, be the author and finisher of my life that I might see eternal joy at the other side of your cross.

12 Jesus Dies Now when it was noon God said, “Let there be darkness, and shadows upon the land, and let this be for the good.” In the beginning the world was formless and void, in the gloom of welter and waste. I beat my breast and turn away. Jesus, Brightness of Eternal Light light of the world, light of life, illuminate me. Do not let the darkness overwhelm and overcome me. 13 Jesus Is Taken Down Those secret disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, come now, with Pilate’s permission, to take the broken body down, completing the necessary actions for his burial, in accordance with all the customs of the day. Quickly. Quietly. There is no time for piercing grief for the setting sun marks Shabbat when we must rest. Jesus, Crown of All Saints my righteousness, my victory, my life, my glory and honor, you will never fade away. I lay my crown before your cross.

14 Jesus Is Laid within the Sepulchre Now the earth the grave is still. No pulse no breath no life Now the stone is rolled into place. Let all mortal flesh keep silent.