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 crossbearer accompanied
by two candlebearers may stand in front of each station
as it is announced. As the cross- and candlebearers
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.
First Station: 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
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed
by Judas, is Arrested
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
Third Station: 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
Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied
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
Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged
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 world sees.
Sixth Station: 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.
Seventh Station: Jesus Bears
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 Hebrew, Golgotha.
John 19: 6, 15-17
Lord, grant us strength of purpose that we may faithfully
bear our crosses each day.
Eighth Station: 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 earth.
Ninth Station: 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.
Tenth Station: 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.
Eleventh 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
Twelfth 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
John 19: 25-27
Lord, grant us constancy that we may be willing to
stand by those in need.
Thirteenth 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
Fourteenth 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 in need.
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
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy
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