Stations of the Cross
(As Celebrated By Pope John Paul II)
The 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 cross bearer accompanied by two
candle bearers may stand in front of each station as it is
announced. As the cross- and candle bearers 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.
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."
Lord, grant us your strength and wisdom, that we may seek to follow
your will in all things
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
Lord, grant us the courage of our convictions that our lives may
faithfully reflect the good news you bring.
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 bitterly.
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
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.
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
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 on
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 who mourn.
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.
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
Lord, grant us perseverance that we may never stop seeking you.
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
Lord, grant us constancy that we may be willing to stand by those in
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
Lord, grant us trust in you that when our time on earth in ended our
spirits may come to you without delay.
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
Lord, grant us your compassion that we may always provide for those
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.