Christ’s Way of the Cross

Walk with Jesus on Good Friday.

(photo: Shutterstock/Register illustration)

Let Us Pray.

LEADER: Lord Jesus, as we follow your steps on the day you died for us, spiritually unite us with the reality of your suffering and death, so that we can know you better, love you more, and imitate you in what we do and say.
ALL: Amen.
LEADER: The [number] Station of the Cross, [name the station]. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!
The First Station: Pilate Condemns Christ
READER 1: “The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.” — Luke 23:24-5
READER 2: Pilate condemned Jesus because of vanity. Caiaphas condemned Jesus because of pride. Herod condemned Jesus because of sensuality.What about me? Which of these most often drives my sins?
LEADER: Lord Jesus, help us to imitate the loving way you accepted your Father’s will. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Second Station: Jesus Accepts His Cross
READER 1: “And carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.” — John 19:17
READER 2: Contrast the two thieves crucified with Christ. The Bad Thief ridicules Christ for accepting his cross. What crosses do I reject?
LEADER: Lord Jesus, the Good Thief accepted his cross in the end, and it brought him to paradise. Help me to accept the crosses you send me for my sanctification. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time
READER 1: “No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name.” — John 15:20-21
READER 2: Jesus’ followers were distressed when they saw Christ condemned in the courtyard, then scourged and burdened with the cross. Setbacks and failures in my life test my faith, too. How quick am I to doubt when the chips are down?
LEADER: Lord Jesus, your cross was hard and heavy. Give me the grace to reject discouragement amid my own crosses. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother
READER 1: “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.’” — John 19:26-27
READER 2: Mary had great concern for Christ. What great sorrow she feels at the suffering inflicted on her Son! It’s my guilt he carries. 
LEADER: Lord Jesus, thank you for making your Mother our mother, too — we take comfort in our trials when she tells us, “I’m here.” Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Fifth Station: Simon Helps Carry the Cross
READER 1: “As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.” — Matthew 27:32
READER 2: Simon’s human nature, like ours, balks at the idea of carrying the cross with Christ. But once he starts, it’s hard to stop. As deadly as sin is, virtue is even more powerful. 
LEADER: Lord Jesus, when I am afflicted by the cross, help me remember that it is you and me, together, carrying the cross up the hill. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
READER 1: “Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.” — 1 Peter 4:8
READER 2: Of all the people in the crowd, Veronica stands out because of her charity. I love Christ, and his suffering pains me. Have I translated that love into action?
LEADER: Lord Jesus, you rewarded Veronica’s charity by giving her your true image. Help us always remember that we only find happiness by serving others. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time
READER 1: “Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” — Philippians 2:6-8
READER 2: Christ doesn’t carry the cross with physical perfection. He falls over and over again. Do I realize Christ doesn’t expect perfection — but he does expect sacrifice?
LEADER: Lord Jesus, I long to finally learn the lesson of your humility. Help me always to struggle to become more holy — even when I fall. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
READER 1: “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.’” — Luke 23:27-28
READER 2: We are in the position of the weeping women. We watch Christ’s suffering, and we are deeply moved. But have we gone to the next step, as Christ requests? 
LEADER: Lord Jesus, give us the grace to take up our cross and follow you. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time
READER 1: “Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.” — 1 Peter 5:8-9
READER 2: Satan follows Christ to the cross. He is delighted by each of his falls. The Way of the Cross convinces him that he has won. Do I ever give Satan reason to think he is winning? 
LEADER: Lord Jesus, you vanquished Satan for all eternity. Don’t let me give in to his lies. When I fall, give me the grace to get up again, uniting myself with your sacrifice. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
READER 1: “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier.” — John 19:23
READER 2: Christ’s passion is re-presented to us at every Mass. In the Eucharist, his Real Presence remains.
LEADER: Lord Jesus, in your supreme act of humility and love, you give yourself to me totally in the Eucharist. Never let me take this precious gift for granted. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Eleventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
READER 1: “They crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the
middle.” — John 19:18
READER 2: Our sins don’t just make Christ suffer; they thwart his grace in our lives.
LEADER: Lord Jesus, you said, “Forgive them,” even as they killed you. Let this forgiveness change my life. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
READER 1: “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.” — Matthew 15:37-38
READER 2: There is drama in the Crucifixion: The earthquake and the darkness remind us that Christ’s death cleaved time itself in two and left nothing unchanged. 
LEADER: Dear Lord, the Crucifixion is the greatest sign of hope in the world. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross
READER 1: “Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council, had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the Kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” — Luke 23:50-52
READER 2: On Calvary, as Mary holds Christ’s body at the foot of the cross, she’s inviting us to love.
LEADER: Lord Jesus, may Mary be as much a mother to us as she was to you. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb
READER 1: “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 27:59-60
READER 2: It’s Holy Saturday. The King is resting, and we await the Resurrection. 
LEADER: Lord Jesus, in the trials of our lives, we are strengthened by the knowledge that you will return one day. Help us to watch and pray. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
The Fifteenth Station: Jesus Rises (Omitted during Lent)
READER 1: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.” — 1 Corinthians 15:17
READER 2: Christ came to rise and to live with us forever.
LEADER: Lord Jesus, we are moved by the words, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Your resurrection fulfilled this promise. Make us new men and women in you. Amen.
ALL: Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …
LEADER: Let us pray the Apostles’ Creed for the intentions of the Holy Father.
I believe in God …
Lord Jesus, our Way of the Cross devotion is done. But now we begin another way of the cross, as we take up our cross to follow you each day. Help us carry our crosses with joy, knowing that you share our burdens.
ALL: Amen.


Click the below link for the full version of the prayerful meditation:

 A special Stations of the Cross.