Stations of the Cross

with our Mother, Mary

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

It was early in the morning when John brought me to the Praetorium and we heard Pilate say that he found no guilt in my Son, but that he would have Him scourged. How could he scourge my Son when He found no guilt in Him? After the scourging, we saw that they even put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head.
Then Pilate asked the crowd what he should do, and they said, "Crucify Him". In order to pacify the crowd, Pilate said, "Crucify Him yourself" and surrendered Jesus into their hands. My heart sank when I heard that pronouncement.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, Your mother truly experienced a sword of sorrow when she saw You condemned to death on the cross. May we more fully appreciate the pain she endured as she watched You accept the burden of the cross and our sins that You carried to Calvary. Help us also to recognize the pain it causes her when we arbitrarily pass judgment on others.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.

Customarily sung:
At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Second Station: Jesus takes up His cross

Second Station: Jesus takes up His cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

Once Pontius Pilate handed Jesus over to the soldiers for crucifixion, they placed a huge cross on His shoulders and began pushing Him to carry it up the hill to Calvary. Although it was a heavy cross, it was obvious to me that the load Jesus was carrying was much heavier than just the cross.
My Son was a strong man, but, to see Him struggle that way made it obvious that this journey to Calvary had a much bigger purpose, so I walked with Him in quiet prayer.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, you were unjustly condemned, cruelly beaten and given a cross to carry which none of us could manage. Help us to realize that the weight of the cross was not the heaviest burden that you carried. It was the weight of our sins. You accepted the punishment for our sins, though we usually fail to acknowledge that we even committed them. Help us to be more aware of our sinfulness, repent of our sins and be more grateful for Your Merciful Love.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, all his bitter anguish bearing,
Lo! the piercing sword had passed.

Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

The beating that Jesus endured and the weight of the cross on His shoulders was enough of a load for my Son, but, the pressure of the crowd, the prodding of the soldiers and the additional burden which He carried caused Him to fall to the ground. I desperately wanted to help, but, I couldn't get near enough and I knew I didn't have the strength to compete with the mob. However, Jesus managed to get up and continue the climb.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, we know, now, that the additional burden You carried up the hill of Calvary was our sins. We would prefer to focus on the weight of the cross, rather than the real load which caused You to fall. Give us the grace to admit our sinfulness and to be truly sorry for the many ways in which we have caused Your suffering. Help us, also, to put complete trust in Your forgiveness.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Let me mingle tears with thee, mourning Him Who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.

Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother, Mary

Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother, Mary

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

I walked along watching my Son as He trudged up that hill to Calvary. Finally, our eyes met as He stopped for a moment to get His breath. The struggle He was enduring was greater than one could imagine. However, the look of submission on His face helped me to realize that He knew this was the will of His Father and His ultimate destiny, and He was content with it. But, with each step He took, the words of Simeon "you yourself a sword will pierce" rang more true in my heart.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, Your mother truly experienced that sword of sorrow when she came face to face with You on the way to Calvary. But, how often we disappoint her when we fail to acknowledge the struggles and anguish on the faces of the people we encounter. Dear Mother, please teach us the compassion you felt for Jesus and that we should feel for our brothers and sisters.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Fifth Station: Simon helps carry the cross

Fifth Station: Simon helps carry the cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

As He struggled up the hill to Calvary, the soldiers became impatient and forced a man named Simon to carry the cross behind Jesus. Even though that should have lightened the load, it was immediately obvious to me that the real load was still on Jesus' shoulders and that it wouldn't be possible for someone else to lighten it.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, we often see others who are struggling to carry the burdens of life, but, we too often look away. It is too easy for us to say that we have enough crosses of our own to carry. Help us to recognize that when we do reach out to those in need, we are Your hands. We are part of Your Mystical Body and the support we receive in doing good for others will always exceed what we expect.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
By the cross with thee to stay, there with thee to weep and pray,
this of thee I ask to give.

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

As I tried to keep up with the crowd following Jesus, I saw a young woman step forward to wipe the face of my Son. Her heart must have been overflowing with concern for Jesus, for her to make such a gesture. The guards immediately pushed her aside, but, when she looked at her veil, she saw the face of my Son on it. Even in the midst of His struggle, Jesus was willing to reward one who showed Him compassion.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, it is not easy to go against the crowd, to do good in the face of resistance or to speak the truth when so many believe a lie. Give us the courage of our convictions to be loving, forgiving and generous with our time, our talent and our treasure. Help us to realize that You are the MOST loving, the MOST forgiving and that nobody can outdo God in generosity.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

Seventh Station: Jesus falls for the second time

Seventh Station: Jesus falls for the second time

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

Again, I saw Jesus fall to the ground. Even though Simon was helping with the cross, the weight on the shoulders of Jesus was obviously more of a burden than anyone could comprehend. The soldiers prodded Him and the crowd continued to press for them to keep Him moving. He managed to rise and, once again, continue that journey which would eventually take His life.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, we so easily give up at the first sign of weakness. We count success by the number of times we achieve our goals without much of a struggle. You showed us by Your persistence that success is more about how we make the journey, in spite of the struggle, rather than just reaching a goal. Help us to persevere in spite of the setbacks we experience in trying to live your law of love, and give us the strength to help others who are struggling.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
O, thou Mother, fount of love, touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord.

Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Eighth Station: Jesus meets the three women of Jerusalem

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

In the midst of the crowd that followed Jesus up the hill of Calvary were some women of Jerusalem. They were obviously moved by the ordeal my Son was enduring and wept with compassion for Him. I'm sure He appreciated their concern for Him, but, they must have been amazed by His concern for them. He urged them to pray for themselves and for their children.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, we too often get so involved in the duties of our daily lives and the good that we try to do, that we sometimes overlook what should be closest to our hearts. You urged the women of Jerusalem to pray for themselves and for their children. Help us to remember all the members of our family in our prayer, especially those who are sick, struggling with personal problems or who do not consider themselves part of the Church which You established.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Make me feel as thou has felt; make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ our Lord.

Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time

Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

Once again, I saw Jesus fall to the ground. This was the third time that the pressure of the crowd, the prodding of the soldiers and that burden, which no one could comprehend, caused Him to fall. This time soldiers pulled Him up and pushed Him to go on, even though others thought He might die on the way. Completing their task was more important than any concern they had for my Son. We were almost there, but, the last part of the climb was severe.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, Your persistence in doing what it took to fulfill the will of Your Father gives us the courage to go ahead in the face of struggles and even defeats. Help us to follow through on our daily tasks while responding to the grace of each moment as You give it to us. Help us, also, to realize that being concerned for the welfare of those with whom we live and work is always more important than completing a task or being successful in life.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
In the Passion of my Maker, Be my sinful soul partaker,
Weep 'till death and weep with You.

Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

The soldiers approached Jesus as He reached the summit of His journey and they began to strip Him of His garments. I'm sure they thought they were stripping Him of His dignity. But, my Son's dignity was not based on what He wore, what position He held in the eyes of men or even what power He could have exerted over them. His dignity is the result of His relationship with His Father which they could not possibly understand. "O how I pray that He will be honored for His true dignity."

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, Your mother recognized the truth of the words of Scripture which tell us that our relationship with the Father is what makes the difference in our life. Help us to grow in that relationship and not base our worth on human respect. Help us also to truly honor You for the dignity that You have as the Divine Son of our Heavenly Father.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Let me share with thee his pain, who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

Once Jesus was stripped of His garments, the soldiers pushed Him to the ground and began to nail His hands and feet to the cross. With each stroke of the hammer, my heart was torn with sorrow as I realized that we were approaching the end of His journey and my Son would soon be hanging on that cross. What was a mother to do, but pray that her Son could complete His sacrifice with grace and that His Father would soon accept Him into the arms of His Merciful Love.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, your mother couldn't lessen the pain that You endured any more than You could reduce the anguish she felt as she watched the soldiers brutally hammer nails into Your hands and feet. Help us to recognize our need to help in lessening, where possible, the pain of all those who suffer in our world, especially the most vulnerable.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Those Five Wounds on Jesus smitten, Mother! in my heart be written,
Deep as in your own they be.

Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

As I knelt beneath His Cross with His beloved disciple, we heard Jesus say, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." His mercy was reaching out to all even in the midst of His excruciating pain. Then He looked down at me and said, "Woman, behold your son." and to John, "Behold your mother." Immediately I realized that He was calling on me to support all of His disciples and to reassure them of His Merciful Love. Then Jesus said, "I thirst!" The guards tried to offer Him a sip of stale wine, but, what He was really saying was, "I thirst for souls and for their love."

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, even with Your last breaths, You asked Your Heavenly Father to forgive us, and You gave us Your Holy Mother to be mother of us all. Help us to recognize that Your request, "I thirst" was directed to us as well and that You really do thirst for our immortal souls and our love. Give us the grace, also, to take Your message of forgiveness and the gift of Your Mother to the whole world.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
Christ above in torment hangs; she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

If we ponder this image and allow its meaning to touch our heart, we may hear our Mother, Mary, in petition to God, the eternal Father saying: "Heavenly Father, please don't let the sufferings of my Son be in vain for Your children. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, help them to put complete trust in His Merciful Love and dedicate their lives to satisfying His great thirst for souls and for their love."

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Mother, you must have felt the full thrust of the sword of sorrow when you held Jesus in your arms after He was taken down from the cross. Help us to entrust ourselves completely to you; lead us, as only you can, to more fully appreciate the sorrow you experienced and the sacrifice your Son offered for our sins. Obtain for us the grace to respond, with gratitude and love, to the great gift of His and your Merciful love.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.

Customarily sung:
Virgin, of all virgins blest, listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is placed in the tomb

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is placed in the tomb

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

Joseph of Arimathea, who had helped take Jesus down from the cross, then offered to allow us to bury Jesus in his own new tomb that was in a garden close by. Nicodemus, also came with aloes, myrrh and a burial cloth with which to wrap the body of my Son. They carried the body of Jesus to the tomb and sealed it with a large stone. Even though that seemed so final, because of what Jesus had told us a number of times, in my heart I knew this was not the end.
So, I left in peace.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, even though You died and Your body was placed in a tomb, we now know, that everything You did was done to fulfill the will of Your Father and bring about our salvation. The promise You made to rise on the third day was not understood by Your disciples. But, Your Mother must have known that since You fulfilled all the other promises You made throughout Your lifetime, this one too would be achieved. Give us the faith to believe in our own resurrection as well.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Customarily sung:
While my body here is lying, let my soul be swiftly flying
to Thy glorious Paradise. Amen.

Fifteenth Station: Resurrection

Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Leader:

On the third day, my Son came to me and told me that He had visited the abode of the dead and released all those who had been awaiting the Messiah, including Joseph, my beloved husband on earth. Then He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the Apostles to reassure them that He had fulfilled the Scripture and His promise to rise. They could then reassure all of His followers, that, to the glory of God the Father, He had risen on the third day as He promised.

Pause for reflection.

Let us pray:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary; Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ! Amen.

O Queen, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.


Go in peace, to glorify the Lord and His Mercy with your life!

2017 Gene P. Neral

© 2004- 2020 Gene P. Neral