THE+STATIONS+OF+THE+CROSS

OPENING PRAYER

Officiant: People: Officiant: People: People:

We adore you O Christ, and we bless you: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. We will glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: In whom is our salvation, our life and resurrection. Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but rst he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was cruci ed: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of his cross, may nd it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen FIRST STATION JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

Officiant: Let us pray.

People:

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

Reader: Pilate said to them, “ en what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be cruci ed!” en he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be cruci ed!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after ogging Jesus, he handed him over to be cruci ed. Matthew 27:22-23,26 MEDITATION Reader: e Judge of the world, who will come again to judge us all, stands there, dishonored and defenseless before the earthly judge. Pilate is not utterly evil. He knows that the condemned man is innocent, and he looks for a way to free him. But his heart is divided. And in the end he lets his own position, his own self-interest, prevail over what is right. Nor
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are the men who are shouting and demanding the death of Jesus utterly evil. Many of them, on the day of Pentecost, will feel “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37), when Peter will say to them: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God... you cruci ed and killed by the hands of those outside the law” (Acts 2:22ff.). But at that moment they are caught up in the crowd. ey are shouting because everyone else is shouting, and they are shouting the same thing that everyone else is shouting. And in this way, justice is trampled underfoot by weakness, cowardice and fear of the diktat of the ruling mindset. e quiet voice of conscience is drowned out by the cries of the crowd. Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. Lord, you were condemned to death because fear of what other people may think suppressed the voice of conscience. So too, throughout history, the innocent have always been maltreated, condemned and killed. How many times have we ourselves preferred success to the truth, our reputation to justice? Strengthen the quiet voice of our conscience, your own voice, in our lives. Look at me as you looked at Peter after his denial. Let your gaze penetrate our hearts and indicate the direction our lives must take. On the day of Pentecost you stirred the hearts of those who, on Good Friday, clamored for your death, and you brought them to conversion. In this way you gave hope to all. Grant us, ever anew, the grace of conversion. People: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.
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a parody of their solemn obligation to serve the common good! It is because Jesus is mocked and wears the crown of suffering that he appears as the true King. And so he goes before us and points out to us the way which leads to true life. they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. May we never complain or become discouraged 3 . “Hail. Help us to acknowledge your face in the lowly and the outcast. and not to shun it. Reader: en the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters. which ridicules our obedience to your will. He takes up the Cross. Help us to take up the Cross. 27:27-31 MEDITATION Reader: Jesus.SECOND STATION JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS People: We adore you. and took the reed and struck him on the head. and we bless you. you willingly subjected yourself to mockery and scorn. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. is mocked. but through a love which suffers for us and with us. e price of justice in this world is suffering: Jesus. How often are the symbols of power. saying. O Christ. the burden of being human. Mt 10:38). our cross. but this very mockery lays bare a painful truth. After mocking him. does not reign through violence. King of the Jews!” ey spat on him. You carried your own Cross and you ask us to follow you on this path (cf. Help us not to ally ourselves with those who look down on the weak and suffering. and they gathered the whole cohort around him. Matthew. they put it on his head. ey stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. borne by the great ones of this world. and after twisting some thorns into a crown. the burden of the world. the true King. Ps 45:7). May we never lose heart when faced with the contempt of this world. His scepter is justice (cf. Lord. ey put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him. en they led him away to crucify him. an affront to truth. condemned as an imposter king. to justice and to the dignity of man! How many times are their pomps and their lofty words nothing but grandiose lies.

we have turned everyone to his own way.. he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. Is not the man who. yet we esteemed him stricken. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. the image of humanity par excellence? Jesus’ fall beneath the Cross is not just the fall of the man Jesus. and he continues to fall: often he becomes a caricature of himself. O Christ. and with his stripes we are healed.. 53:4-6 MEDITATION Reader: Man has fallen. who art in heaven. and afflicted. in submitting to its demands. All we like sheep have gone astray. In Jesus’ fall beneath the weight of the Cross. But he was wounded for our transgressions. Reader: Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows. Lo! the piercing sword had passed. THIRD STATION JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME People: We adore you. even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8). upon him was the chastisement that made us whole. as Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians: “though he was in the form of God. the meaning of his whole life is seen: his voluntary abasement. deeply grieved. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death.by life’s trials. to nd true joy. smitten by God. taking the form of a servant. the arrogance which makes us think that we do 4 .. bowed with anguish. no longer the image of God. on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. e nature of our pride is also revealed: it is that arrogance which makes us want to be liberated from God and left alone to ourselves. rough her soul. Help us to follow the path of love and. Isaiah. but a mockery of the Creator. of joy bereaved. but emptied himself. fell among robbers who stripped him and left him half-dead and bleeding beside the road.. and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. exhausted from his scourging. which lifts us up from the depths of our pride. he was bruised for our iniquities. being born in the likeness of men. People: Our Father. ere is a more profound meaning in this fall. and we bless you.

we hope to conquer death by our own efforts. to rise again. FOURTH STATION JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER People: We adore you. Lord help us. and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also). this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel. Help us to abandon our destructive pride and. that 5 . In this rebellion against truth. deeply grieved. rough her soul. we have fallen. to discover our true greatness by bending low before God and before our downtrodden brothers and sisters. or mere human weakness. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. and learn from him. to be bought and sold. by learning from your humility.. the weight of the cross made you fall to the ground. e humility of Jesus is the surmounting of our pride. the weight of our pride. O Christ. But your fall is not a tragedy. In doing this. in our pride. in this attempt to be our own god. but can be the masters of our own lives. e weight of our sin. Lord Jesus. e arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise. creator and judge. Reader: Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: “Behold.. yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity. Lo! the piercing sword had passed. brought you down. our false illusions of independence. You came to us when. of joy bereaved. the One who humbled himself. by his abasement he lifts us up. or stored to provide parts for experimentation. we were laid low. and we bless you. we fall headlong and plunge into self-destruction.not need his eternal love. Let us allow him to lift us up. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. People: Our Father. bowed with anguish. who art in heaven. Let us strip away our sense of self-sufficiency.

when the Son of man comes. you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. It was said to Mary: “And behold.. words like these: “He was oppressed. not only physically. yet she did not ee. Lord Jesus. 2:34-35. his Mother. spoken to her in the beginning: “Do not be afraid. in this moment Jesus knows: he will nd faith.thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed”. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. a Mother’s delity. with a Mother’s courage. And she would hear from the mouth of the elderly Simeon: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35).. through her obedience she conceived him in her heart. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is brother. He will be great and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:31ff. and grant that our faith in you may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of a love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance. Yes. she became the mother of all believers. During his public life she had to step aside.). She would then recall the words of the prophets. and a faith which did not waver in the hour of darkness: “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). and she still believed at the hour of your greatest abasement. She believed the angel’s incredible message that she would become the mother of the Most High. And his mother kept all these things in her heart. will he nd faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8). Help us also to believe. yet he opened not his mouth. this is his great consolation. 6 . Even before she conceived him bodily. your mother Mary remained faithful when all the other disciples ed. “Nevertheless. In this hour. In this way. the family of his disciples. he was like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Is 54:7). at the hour of the world’s darkest night. Luke. Now we see her as the Mother of Jesus. and he was afflicted. to make place for the birth of Jesus’ new family. but also in her heart. e disciples ed. and sister and mother” (Mt 12:48-50). at the hour of the Cross. a Mother’s goodness. She stayed there. Mary” (Lk 1:30). She also had to hear the words: “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?. we also nd Mary. In her heart she had kept the words of the angel. Now it all takes place.51 MEDITATION Reader: On Jesus’ Way of the Cross.

they came upon a man of Cyrene. From this chance encounter. Signi cantly. Col 1:24). and share in their sufferings. when he comes upon the sad procession of those condemned for him. 16:24 MEDITATION Reader: Simon of Cyrene is on his way home.. Reader: As they went out. perhaps. faith was born. let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Jesus. touched his heart. 27:32. 7 . returning from work.. who were evidently known as Christians and as members of that community (cf. wants us to share his Cross so that we can complete what is still lacking in his suffering (cf. O Christ. e Cyrenian. but also his children. it was a common sight. we help to carry that same Cross of Jesus. e soldiers force this rugged man from the country to carry the Cross on his own shoulders. came to see that it was a grace to be able to accompany him to his cruci xion and to help him. silent and suffering. but reluctantly. e mystery of Jesus. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Mk 15:21). “If any man would come after me. and we bless you. ceaseless mourning. How annoying he must have thought it to be suddenly caught up in the fate of those condemned men! He does what he must do. pious mother never turning from her wondrous.People: Our Father. the persecuted and defenseless. the Evangelist Mark does not only name him. whose divine love alone can redeem all humanity. O that silent. suffering Son FIFTH STATION THE CYRENIAN HELPS JESUS CARRY THE CROSS People: We adore you. Whenever we show kindness to the suffering. who art in heaven. walking beside Jesus and sharing the burden of the Cross. and help contribute to the salvation of the world. In this way we obtain salvation. Jesus told his disciples. and they compelled him to carry his cross. Matthew. Simon by name.

O God of my salvation. Help us to appreciate with joy that. the Church. that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. one thing I seek. know that we are walking with you along the way. and we esteemed him not. He had no form or majesty that we should look at him.11-13 8 . cast me not away. and no beauty that we should desire him. you opened the eyes and heart of Simon of Cyrene. born of woman. 53:1-3 One thing have I asked of the Lord. Help us to aid our neighbors in need. Hide not your face from me. would not weep? SIXTH STATION VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS People: We adore you. “Seek my face. will I seek. O Christ. Help us to realize that it is a grace to be able to share the cross of others and. Who on Christ’s dear Mother gazing. and acquainted with grief. To behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.. by his share in your Cross. who art in heaven. do not forsake me.. in this way. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. and like a root out of dry ground. even when this interferes with our own plans and desires. a man of sorrows.” Your face. we become servants of salvation and are able to help build up your Body. You speak in my heart and say. nor turn away your servant in displeasure.PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. Lord. Lord. Isaiah. Reader: Who has believed what we have heard? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? For he grew up before him like a young plant. Psalm 27:5-6. the grace of faith. and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised. People: Our Father. and you gave him. in her trouble so amazing. and we bless you. You have been my helper. when we share in your suffering and the sufferings of this world. He was despised and rejected by men.

who art in heaven. who. bloodied and bruised. “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). in the Greek tradition . Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain. grant us restless hearts. On Jesus’ Way of the Cross. She is the image of that good woman. At rst.lled face. Impress your face on our hearts. Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on his human face. She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples. When we are not able to accomplish great things. For the sins of His own nation she saw her Son in desolation with thorns and bloody scourges rent... 9 . Lord. amid turmoil and dismay. hearts which seek your face. shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognize your presence in the world. Only love enables us to recognize the God who is love itself.embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament. she saw the face of God and his goodness. Only with the heart can we see Jesus. though. the yearning of all believers to see the face of God. which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things.Bernice. May we encounter you along the way and show your image to the world. the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount. People: Our Father. grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. Lord. Veronica . she at rst did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a facecloth to Jesus.MEDITATION Reader: “Your face. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. Hide not your face from me” (Ps 27:8-9). Only love puri es us and gives us the ability to see. “Blessed are the pure in heart”. do I seek.

he touches our hearts. and we bless you. Lamentations 3:1-2. Our weight has made you fall. in more recent times. with all its excesses and perversions. and made me cower in ashes.9. roughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. simply drift through life. have ended up doing away with man. for by ourselves we cannot rise from the dust. and the mystery of Jesus’ own sharing in our fall. so that all may see that they are a web of lies. Lord Jesus Christ.16 MEDITATION Reader: e tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam. He gazes on us. and the banal existence of those who. the state of fallen humanity. Lay low the power of ideologies. capable of resisting the forces 10 . Lift us up. of how a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies. In place of a heart of stone. lust of the eyes and the pride of life. in order to meet us. give us a heart of esh.SEVENTH STATION JESUS FALLS FOR THE SECOND TIME People: We adore you. He has blocked my way with hewn stones. e Lord bears this burden and falls. Reader: I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath. And so man lies fallen in the dust. Make us aware of your presence. In his First Letter. over and over again. Free us from the bonds of lust. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. he has made my paths crooked. He thus interprets the fall of man and humanity against the backdrop of the vices of his own time. no longer believing in anything. Do not let the wall of materialism become insurmountable. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Keep us sober and vigilant. He has made my teeth grind on gravel. he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. Saint John speaks of a threefold fall: lust of the esh. you have borne all our burdens and you continue to carry us. a heart capable of seeing. he falls in order to raise us up. But we can also think. which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all. have built a new and worse paganism. O Christ.

Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. and the wombs that never bore.of evil. so that we may lift others up. And so the Lord warns us of the danger in which we nd ourselves. and we bless you. Lift us up. People: Our Father. despite all our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering. and to the hills. Would not share Her sorrow deep? EIGHTH STATION JESUS CONSOLES THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM People: We adore you. “Daughters of Jerusalem. so that we may bring your hope to the world. Such a cup of sorrow drinking. For if they do this when the wood is green. but weep for yourselves and for your children. Can it be that. He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgment.. the days are coming when they will say. one which fails to lead to conversion and living faith? It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. ‘Blessed are the barren. who art in heaven.. For behold. Help us to recognize the spiritual and material needs of others. How should we understand his words? Are they not directed at a piety which is purely sentimental. and quietly set aside the word of judgment? “How can God be so concerned with our weaknesses?”. Give us hope at every moment of darkness. and the breasts that never gave suck!’ en they will begin to say to the mountains. Reader: Jesus turning to them said. do not weep for me. we see more clearly the 11 . and to give them the help they need. ‘Cover us’. Who on Christ's dear Mother thinking. we say. 23:28-31 MEDITATION Reader: Hearing Jesus reproach the women of Jerusalem who follow him and weep for him ought to make us re ect. we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and Jesus. O Christ. ‘Fall on us’. what will happen when it is dry?” Luke. “We are only human!” Yet as we contemplate the sufferings of the Son.

. and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome.. the Judge of the world. when all of us will stand before your face: before you.. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. Lamentations 3:27-32 MEDITATION Reader: What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We 12 . You call us to leave behind the trivialization of evil. Let met share with thee his pain. he says: “Do not weep for me. Before the image of the suffering Lord. but. though he cause grief. if they do this when the wood is green. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him. with nothing to offer other than compassionate words. O Christ. what will happen when it is dry?”. to the weeping women you spoke of repentance and the Day of Judgment. and we bless you. the danger of our being found guilty and without excuse on the Day of Judgment. For the Lord will not cast off for ever. according to the abundance of his steadfast love. NINTH STATION JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME People: We adore you. let him give his cheek to the smiter. bearing fruit for eternal life (cf. but living branches in you. Jn 15:1-10). weep for yourselves. who art in heaven. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.there may yet be hope. Grant that we may not simply walk at your side. the true vine. he will have compassion. To us too. let him put his mouth in the dust . Grant that in the end we will not be dry wood. Reader: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. evil can no longer be trivialized. and be lled with insults.. who for me in torments died. Convert us and give us new life. People: Our Father. Lord. which salves our consciences and allows us to carry on as before. You show us the seriousness of our responsibility. who for all my sins was slain.seriousness of sin.

PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. may my spirit borrow. and Satan laughs. Mt 8: 25). Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again.Lord. ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride. where he waits for us. But you will rise again. we drag you down to earth. Lord. In your eld we see more weeds than wheat. His betrayal by his disciples. You stood up. you will remain prostrate and overpowered. Save and sanctify your Church. your Church often seems like a boat about to sink. a boat taking in water on every side. mother.. how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. you arose and you can also raise us up. their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood. without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories. after all our lofty words and grand gestures. and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves. Adam continues to fall. in the priesthood. save us (cf. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused. People: Our Father. 13 . Save and sanctify us all. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison . e soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. so many empty words! How much lth there is in the Church.have considered the fall of man in general. for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall. When we fall. it pierces his heart. Fount of love and holy sorrow. and even among those who.. within her too. Have mercy on your Church. he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church. who art in heaven. somewhat of Your woe profound. is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer. ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion.

yet each of these steps. they offered him wine to drink. “woven without seam from top to bottom” ( Jn 19:23). mingled with gall. despised by all alike. 14 . His public stripping means that Jesus is no longer anything at all. a III. e Lord passes through all the stages and steps of man’s fall from grace. At the foot of the Cross. Matthew 27:33-36 MEDITATION Reader: Jesus is stripped of his garments. 161). they divided his garments among them by casting lots. And when they had cruci ed him. it gives him his place in society. Nothing is mere coincidence.TENTH STATION JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS People: We adore you. everything that happens is contained in the Word of God and sustained by his divine plan. by doing so they tell us the same thing that Jesus would tell his disciples on the road to Emmaus: that everything takes place “according to the Scriptures”. e moment of the stripping reminds us of the expulsion from Paradise: God’s splendor has fallen away from man. without stitching (Fl. O Christ. who now stands naked and exposed. it makes him someone. Clothing gives a man his social position. the soldiers draw lots to divide his paltry possessions. becomes a step towards our redemption: this is how he carries home the lost sheep. Let us not forget that John says that lots were drawn for Jesus’ tunic. is the true High Priest. which was “woven from a single thread”. his clothes. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Reader: And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). e Evangelists describe the scene with words drawn from Psalm 22:19. unclad and ashamed. We may consider this as a reference to the High Priest’s robe. he reminds us that we have all lost the “ rst garment” that is God’s splendor. And so Jesus once more takes on the condition of fallen man. For he. and we bless you. for all its bitterness. Josephus. he would not drink it. then they sat down and kept watch over him there. Stripped of his garments. the Cruci ed One. he is simply an outcast. but when he tasted it.

the outcasts of our world. “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days. he cannot save himself. “He saved others. Reader: And over his head they put the charge against him. saying. us. is is how you bring meaning into apparent meaninglessness. come down from the Cross”. burn with love for Christ. exposed to shame. And those who passed by derided him. and in all the situations in which we encounter him. wagging their heads and saying. my Lord ELEVENTH STATION JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS People: We adore you. you were stripped of your garments. People: Our Father.. Clothe us in the light of your grace. which read. Jesus does not drink the numbing gall offered to him: he deliberately takes upon himself all the 15 . You also take upon yourself the sufferings and the needs of the poor. You took upon yourself the shame of Adam. He is the King of Israel. let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him”. and you healed it. and the whole world in his hands. “ is is Jesus the King of the Jews”. So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. and we bless you.PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. And in this very way you ful ll the words of the prophets. Lord Jesus.. O Christ. Matthew 27:37-42 MEDITATION Reader: Jesus is nailed to the Cross. who art in heaven. cast out of society. one on the right hand and one on the left. en two robbers were cruci ed with him. e shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure. is is how you make us realize that your Father holds you. Make my heart to burn within me for the God who came to win me. Give us a profound respect for man at every stage of his existence. save yourself ! If you are the Son of God.

Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation. His whole body is racked. scorned by men. Ignatius of Antioch. People: Our Father. before the suffering Son of God. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you. “bound” fast to you. he was despised. and. You allowed yourself to be nailed fast. to discover true freedom. May we never ee from what we are called to do. you let yourself be nailed to the Cross. Help us to accept your “binding” freedom.. Let us try to see his face in the people we might look down upon.pain of the Cruci xion. and realize that it is then that we are closest to God. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. mother! in my heart be written. you did not try to escape or to lessen your suffering. accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering. rejected by the people” (Ps 22:7). but endured its suffering to the end.). another thought comes to mind.. Help us to remain faithful to you. nailed with esh and blood to the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1). who did not use his power to come down from the Cross. “As one from whom men hide their faces. Let us halt before this image of pain. who art in heaven. praised the Christians of Smyrna for their invincible faith: he says that they were. or to join others in mocking him. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure. 16 . resisting the temptation to stand apart. surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Is 53:3f. in order to learn to respect limits and to see the super ciality of all merely material goods.. the destruction of your body and your dignity. Lord Jesus Christ. As we stand before the condemned Lord. ose Five Wounds on Jesus smitten. the words of the Psalm have come to pass: “But I am a worm and no man. deep as in your own they be. a prisoner in chains for his faith in the Lord. so to speak.. Let us nail ourselves to him.

” is man is calling Elijah“. the unjust judge. and in Greek. Reader: Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the Cross. and we bless you. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice. And one of them at once ran and took a sponge. which begins with the words: “My God. human idea of power and deliverance. in Latin. and in Hebrew. saw the earthquake and what took place. Now we know who God is. my God. John 19:19-20 Reader: Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 22:2). lled it with vinegar. and gave it to him to drink. the language of the Chosen People. ”My God. Many of the Jews read this title. Now he has radically ful lled the commandment of love. Yet now the title can remain publicly displayed above the Cruci ed Christ. e kingship of Jesus was proclaimed before all the world. Jesus himself had not accepted the title “Messiah”. He is indeed the king of the world. and put it on a reed. and it was written in Hebrew. they were lled with awe.TWELFTH STATION JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS People: We adore you. and said. why have you forsaken me?“ And some of the bystanders hearing it said. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. “Jesus of Nazareth. indicating who he was: the King of the Jews. became a prophet despite himself. But the others said. When the centurion and those who were with him. And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit”. a sign stood above the Cross of Jesus. Pilate. O Christ.54 MEDITATION Reader: In Greek and Latin. he has completed the offering of himself. He takes to himself 17 . the two international languages of the time. let us see whether Elijah will come to save him“. “Eli. lama sabachthani?“ at is. Now he is truly “lifted up”. “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:45-50. Jesus prays Psalm 22. the promised Son of David. keeping watch over Jesus. ”Wait. the King of the Jews”. it read. In sinking to the depths he rose to the heights. Eli. the God who is love. Now we know what true kingship is. and in this way he is now the revelation of the true God. my God. for the place where Jesus was cruci ed was near the city. because it would have suggested a mistaken.

all of suffering humanity. and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God. and he makes God present in the very place where he seems de nitively vanquished and absent. From the Cross on high you have triumphed. “Truly this was the Son of God!” ere were 18 . Be my sinful soul partaker. they were lled with awe. unrecognizable. Ever anew you are being nailed to the Cross. Help us to recognize your face at this hour of darkness and tribulation. e earth trembles. and said. seems obscured. you are exalted. In the Passion of my Maker. the face of God. And yet. who art in heaven. at the hour of your death the sun was darkened. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. and we bless you..the whole suffering people of Israel. on the Cross.. Lord Jesus Christ. Precisely by being the one who suffers and loves. Reader: When the centurion and those who were with him. e world is darkened. e Roman centurion understands this. Show yourself once more to the world at this hour. the Church of the Gentiles is born. O Christ. saw the earthquake and what took place. Reveal to us your salvation. keeping watch over Jesus. Weep 'till death and weep with You THIRTEENTH STATION JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS AND GIVEN TO HIS MOTHER People: We adore you. you have revealed yourself. the drama of God’s darkness. People: Our Father. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. Help us to believe in you and to follow you in our hour of darkness and need. From the Cross he triumphs ever anew. your face. rough your great sufferings and the wickedness of men. And on the Cross. e Cross of Jesus is a cosmic event. when the Son of God is given up to death. At this present hour of history we are living in God’s darkness.

Give us the delity to withstand 19 . the garden from which Adam was cast out when he abandoned the fullness of life. in a garden. He is thus revealed as the true Paschal lamb. his Creator. Nicodemus. Es 12:46). How often does it appear that you are asleep? How easy it is for us to step back and say to ourselves: “God is dead”. ere are faithful ones who remain with him. Even in the night of death. you descended into the darkness of death. From his heart. the sister of his Mother. not one of whose bones must be broken (cf. Under the Cross stand Mary. ow blood and water: a mysterious image of the stream of the sacraments. his Mother. A wealthy man. Jesus’ legs are not broken. his new family. the Lord continues to be our Lord and Savior. appears on the scene: a rich man is able to pass through the eye of a needle. he was never alone. A member of the Sanhedrin also comes along. looking on from afar. Even in the Sanhedrin. At Jesus’ burial. e garden tomb symbolizes that the dominion of death is about to end. Mary Magdalen and the disciple whom he loved. Joseph of Arimathea. by which the Church is constantly reborn from the opened heart of the Lord. the light of hope is mysteriously present. In this hour of immense grief. Help us not to leave you alone. Lord. to whom Jesus had proclaimed the mystery of rebirth by water and the Spirit. the cemetery becomes a garden. pierced by the lance of the Roman soldier. Do not abandon us when we are tempted to lose heart. ever near. begins to take shape. for all the power of hatred and cowardice. like those of the two men cruci ed with him. Mary. for all the dismay which lled men’s hearts. the sun has not completely set. there is a believer. In the hour of darkness. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray.also many women there. who had followed Jesus from Galilee. But your body is placed in good hands and wrapped in a white shroud (Mt 27:59). And now. e Church of Jesus Christ. e hidden God continues to be the God of life. Matthew 27:54-55 MEDITATION Reader: Jesus is dead. ministering to him. someone who knows and recognizes Jesus after his death. it is clear that. He buries Jesus in his own empty tomb. Baptism and the Eucharist. Faith has not completely died. of darkness and despair. for God has given him the grace. which decreed his death. at the end of his sufferings. help us to know that you are still there.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there. O Christ. the poor and rich. who says that God “through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere. then we for our part should consider nothing too much for God.). and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud. cursed. But we should also remember the words of Saint Paul. is is the teaching of Jesus himself. At the very moment of his burial. I say to you. truly. derided. People: Our Father. our faith needs once more to be the fragrance which returns us to the path of life. we see an “excess” which evokes God’s generous and superabundant love. she beheld her tender child. Jesus’ words are ful lled: “Truly. Bruised. it 20 . and to offer you our abilities. like your Mother. and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.. who art in heaven. disgraced and mistreated. which he had hewn in the rock. but if it dies. unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies. in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:20). sitting opposite the sepulcher. and we bless you. is honorably buried in a new tomb. God offers himself unstintingly. and laid it in his own new tomb. We are the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor 2:14ff. it remains alone. simple and learned. Nicodemus brings a mixture of myrrh and aloes. Matthew 27:59-61 MEDITATION Reader: Jesus. Reader: Joseph took the body. Amid the decay of ideologies. In the Son’s self-offering. about a hundred pounds weight.moments of confusion and a love ready to embrace you in your utter helplessness. If God’s measure is superabundance. de led. our hearts and our time. and departed. and thus to prepare a garden for the Resurrection. till His Spirit forth he sent. as at his anointing in Bethany. FOURTEENTH STATION JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB People: We adore you. who once more holds you to her breast. to look beyond all our fears and prejudices. which gives off a precious scent. Help us..

through his Incarnation and death. When to dust my dust returns. Like the grain of wheat which rises from the earth. Help us grow in love and veneration for your Eucharistic mystery to make you. rough his Cross and Resurrection. Amen 21 .. You have risen. in which you offer us your very self. e mystery of the Eucharist already shines forth in the burial of Jesus. No. From that lifeless grain of wheat comes forth the great multiplication of bread which will endure until the end of the world. the Bread of Life. putting forth its stalk and then its ear. Ps 16:10 LXX). and to make known in this world the mysterious traces of your life. who art in heaven. Grant my soul. Help us to rejoice in this hope and bring it joyfully to the world. has become a Word which is close to us: you put yourself into our hands and into our hearts. Jesus is the bread of life which can satisfy superabundantly the hunger of all humanity and provide its deepest nourishment. A home with ee in paradise. the Bread of heaven. that for You yearns. You have become the lifeless grain of wheat which produces abundant fruit for every age and for all eternity. so that we too can trust the promise of the grain of wheat. e eternal Word. Lord Jesus Christ.bears much fruit” ( Jn 12:24). Help us to become witnesses of your resurrection.. the source of our life. rough the death of the grain of wheat you give us yourself. From the tomb shines forth in every generation the promise of the grain of wheat which gives rise to the true manna. so that your word can grow within us and bear fruit. Help us to become your “fragrance”. so that we too can dare to lose our life in order to nd it. nor let your esh see corruption” (Acts 2:31. you could not remain enclosed in the tomb: the tomb is empty because he the Father “did not abandon you to the nether world. People: Our Father. you did not see corruption. in your burial you have taken on the death of the grain of wheat. PRAYER Officiant: Let us pray. the eternal Word of God became esh and bread for us. and have made a place for our trans gured esh in the very heart of God. Jesus is the grain of wheat which dies.

and that through the grave and gate of death we may come to our joyful resurrection. Officiant: Grant.CLOSING DEVOTIONS Officiant: Savior of the world. O Lord. we humbly beseech you. through his merits. and help us. O Lord. who died and was buried and rose again for us. And Meditations and Prayers for the Stations of the Cross by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – March 24. 2005 22 . is text has been adapted from various sources including: e Way of the Cross as celebrated by the Scottish Episcopal Church. that we who are baptized into the death of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ may continually put to death our evil desire and be buried with him. your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. by your cross and precious blood you have redeemed us: People: Save us. Amen.

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