Down and Connor Diocese

First Station – Jesus is condemned to death

Story

Jesus stands in the most human of places. He has

already experienced profound solidarity with so many on

this earth, by being beaten and tortured. Now he is

wrongfully condemned to punishment by death. His

commitment to entering our lives completely begins its

final steps. He has said “yes” to God and placed his life in

God’s hands. We follow him in this final surrender, and

contemplate with reverence each place along the way, as

he is broken and given for us.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Second Station – Jesus carries His cross

Story

Jesus is made to carry the cross on which he will die.

It represents the weight of all our crosses. What he must

have felt as he first took it upon his shoulders! With each

step he enters more deeply into our human experience. He

walks in the path of human misery and suffering, and

experiences its crushing weight.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because

by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Third Station – Jesus falls the first time

Story

The weight is unbearable. Jesus falls under it. How

could he enter our lives completely without surrendering to

the crushing weight of the life of so many on this earth! He

lays on the ground and knows the experience of weakness

beneath unfair burdens. He feels the powerlessness of

wondering if he will ever be able to continue. He is pulled

up and made to continue.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Fourth Station – Jesus meets his mother

Story

Jesus’ path takes him to a powerful source of his

strength to continue. All his life, his mother had taught him

the meaning of the words, “Behold, the handmaid of the

Lord.” Now they look into each other’s eyes. How piercedthrough

her heart must be! How pained he must be to see

her tears! Now, her grace-filled smile blesses his mission

and stirs his heart to its depth. Love and trust in God bind

them together.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Fifth Station – Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

Story

Jesus even experiences our struggle to receive

help. He is made to experience the poverty of not being

able to carry his burden alone. He enters into the

experience of all who must depend upon others to

survive. He is deprived of the satisfaction of carrying this

burden on his own.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the

world.

Sixth Station – Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Story

Jesus’ journey is at times brutal. He has entered into

the terrible experiences of rejection and injustice. He has

been whipped and beaten. His face shows the signs of his

solidarity with all who have ever suffered injustice and vile,

abusive treatment. He encounters a compassionate, loving

disciple who wipes the vulgar spit and mocking blood from

his face. On her veil, she discovers the image of his face –

his gift to her, and, for us to contemplate forever.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Seventh Station – Jesus falls the second time

Story

Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the

ground. In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath

him. “Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.”

He has seen death before. Now he can feel the profound

weakness of disability and disease and aging itself, there

on his knees, under the weight of his cross.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Eighth Station – Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Story

The women of Jerusalem, and their children, come

out to comfort and thank him. They had seen his

compassion and welcomed his words of healing and

freedom. He had broken all kinds of social and religious

conventions to connect with them. Now they are here to

support him. He feels their grief. He suffers, knowing he

can’t remain to help them more in this life. He knows the

mystery of facing the separation of death.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Ninth Station – Jesus falls a third time

Story

This last fall is devastating. Jesus can barely

proceed to the end. Summoning all this remaining

strength supported by his inner trust in God, Jesus

collapses under the weight of the cross. His executioners

look at him as a broken man, pathetic yet paying a price

he deserves. They help him up so he can make it up the

hill of crucifixion.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the

world.

Tenth Station – Jesus’ clothes are taken away

Story

Part of the indignity is to be crucified naked. Jesus is

completely stripped of any pride. The wounds on his back

are torn open again. He experiences the ultimate

vulnerability of the defenseless. No shield or security

protects him. As they stare at him, his eyes turn to heaven.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Eleventh Station – Jesus is nailed to the cross

Story

Huge nails are hammered through his hands and

feet to fix him on the cross. He is bleeding much more

seriously now. As the cross is lifted up, the weight of his

life hangs on those nails. Every time he struggles to pull

himself up to breathe, his ability to cling to life slips away.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the

world.

Twelfth Station – Jesus dies on the cross

Story

Between two criminals, a mocking title above his

head, with only Mary and John and Mary Magdalene to

support him, Jesus surrenders his last breath: “Into your

hands I commend my spirit.”

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Thirteenth Station – The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

Story

What tender mourning! Jesus’ lifeless body lies in

his mother’s arms. He has truly died…A profound

sacrifice, complete.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the

world.

heart to the God of all mercies.

Fourteenth Station – Jesus is laid in the tomb

Story

They take the body of Jesus to its resting place. The

huge stone over the tomb is the final sign of the

permanence of death. In this final act of surrender, who

would have imagined this tomb would soon be empty or

that Jesus would show himself alive to his disciples, or that

they would recognize him in the breaking of bread? Oh,

that our hearts might burn within us, as we realize how he

had to suffer and die so as to enter into his glory, for us.

Prayer

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.