The Stations of the Cross depict the final hours of Jesus. To ‘do the Stations of the Cross’ is to stop at each ‘station’ and say a prayer. This tradition began with St Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Church in the medieval period. The Stations of the Cross may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent. Other names include Way of the Cross (in Latin: Via Crucis), Way of Sorrows (in Latin: Via Dolorosa) and The Way.
These Stations of the Cross were originally in St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Rainworth. Their dedication in St Andrew’s, Indooroopilly was on 30 October 2011 after restoration by Gailene Harrison. They were given in memory of Arnold and Hazel Sweetser and Norman and Iris Amos by Peter and Vicki Sweetser. The photos below were taken by Lindsay Gardiner.
Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
1. Jesus is condemned to death
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death.Mark 14: 61–64 (NRSV)
For those on trial this week; for those appointed to judge them: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
2. Jesus is given his cross
He [Pilate] said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out…John 19:14–17a (NRSV)
For those appointed to keep public order; for those tempted to abuse their power: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
3. Jesus falls the first time
“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.”John 15:18–20 (NRSV)
For those who are tired or in pain: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
4. Jesus meets his mother
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.John 19:25–27 (NRSV)
For parents whose children are in pain or trouble: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).Mark 15:20–22 (NRSV)
For a willingness to serve you in friends and strangers: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’Matthew 25b:37–40 (NRSV)
For those whose faces we wipe; for those who wipe away our tears: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
7. Jesus falls the second time
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.Isaiah 53:4–6 (NRSV)
For the innocent who are hurt; for those who are unsafe and cannot find a way out; for the falsely accused: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”Luke 23:27–28 (NRSV)
For those who live in places of conflict or danger; for peacemakers and peacekeepers in every land: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
9. Jesus falls the third time
My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word. When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes. Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.Psalm 119:25–28 (NRSV)
For those whom I love; for those whom I struggle to love; for those who find me difficult: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
They offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots.Matthew 27:34–35 (NRSV)
For those deserted by friends; for those alone and vulnerable; for those who can find no one to turn to in times of threat or great sadness: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”Luke 23:32–34a (NRSV)
For the depth of your love for us, we thank you: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
12. Jesus dies on the cross
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.Luke 23:44–46 (NRSV)
For all who died today; for all who love them and will miss them: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.John 19:33–34,38 (NRSV)
For our families and friends who have died; for ourselves as we carry their stories: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb
So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.Matthew 27:59–61 (NRSV)
For all who are waiting; for all who are longing for light: God in your mercy, hear my prayer.
We go on our way and Jesus goes ahead of us.
We do not need to be afraid, for Jesus is risen.
God is love – and love is more powerful than fear or death or evil.
We are greatly loved and we are are grateful.
Thanks be to God for redeeming the world in love. Amen.