Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 13. & 14. The body is taken down and laid in the tomb


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 13. & 14. The body of Jesus is taken down and laid in the tomb Mark 15: 42 – 47 & Matthew 27: 59 – 60

Reading:
It was now evening, and since it was Preparation Day, that is the vigil of the Sabbath, there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. He went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead. Having been assured of this by the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph who brought a shroud and took Jesus down from the cross.

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.

Reflection:
In a borrowed tomb the wounded body is laid to rest. Quickly and without ceremony, loving hands gently tend in death the man who lived so gently and who was more pure than the rock in which he now rested. Darkness is upon the earth, and when dawn comes, it will rise on a sealed tomb. Both friends and enemies of the Redeemer will keep the Sabbath rest. There is no sign of what is yet to come.

Prayer:
We give thanks for the peace that comes at last; that no suffering is without its end. We give thanks for the memory of many loved ones and for the promise of new life when the body fails. Because Christ has conquered, death has no sting and the grave no victory. Forgive our fear of death, our vain struggle against mortality. Even in our faith, we seem sometimes to be like people without ultimate hope. Help us to remember without fear that dust we are and to dust we will return.

Closing prayer
Almighty God, grant to us, who have followed our Lord through the time of his most holy Passion, the inward sight to face the reality of divine suffering.
May the power of the cross be our shield against all evil in this world, our comfort in the hour of death, and our way to eternal life.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ who died upon the cross, that we might live in him. Amen

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Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 12. Jesus dies on the cross


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross Mark 15: 33 – 37

Reading:
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” Which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Reflection:
The last agony is over. For six hours the Son of God has hung, helpless, bleeding, racked with pain on a cross. Despite the agonies of his death, Jesus prayed for those who had put him there, had seen his mother’s soul pierced by the sword just as Simeon had prophesied. He heard the voice of the penitent man beside him on the cross and he has assured him of his salvation. And then, it is finished. Those healing hands can do no more, and the world went black.

Prayer:

Lord, what words can we say here? As we stand and watch what was done on that hill of darkness, we can only bow down in silent praise. The sins of a broken world brought him there, and our sin kept him there. We are still like sheep who have gone astray, and the dying shepherd has brought us home.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 11. Jesus is nailed to the cross


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the cross Mark 15: 25 – 27

Reading:
It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews”. And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.”

Reflection:
Jesus arrives at Golgotha, the place of the Skull. He has his hands and feet nailed to the cross. The agony is unfathomable.

Prayer:
Lord, you allowed the nails to be hammered through your flesh, and you were not tempted to save yourself. You did not grudge us the price of our redemption; help us understand the wonder of your love that made such a sacrifice for our sake.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 10. Jesus is stripped of his garments


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 10: Jesus is stripped of his garments John 19: 23 – 24

Reading:
When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another “Instead of tearing it, let us cast lots to decide who is to have it.”

Reflection:
This was the final humiliation for Jesus. His body was broken by the injuries inflicted with the whip and the scourge, and he was stripped naked in public to display the bloodied and torn flesh. It was the utmost cruelty, and today, people still do cruel things that hurt other people.  How can we make sure we are not cruel to any fellow human or any animal as we go about our lives?

Prayer:
Lord, who was stripped of every last possession, strip our hearts of all things we cling to that come between our lives and your love. Lay us bare to your calling.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 9. Jesus falls a third time


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 9: Jesus falls for a third time Matthew 16: 24 – 25

Reading:
Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his live will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it”.

Reflection:
Jesus has the weight of the heavy cross lying on his back. He is so tired and full of pain that He can’t carry it. He is almost at the end of his journey, and it is very nearly too much for him to bear.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we too find ourselves at the end of what we can endure. Be with us in our exhaustion, our terror and our despair. You know how it feels to carry a heavy burden; help us endure when our lives seem full of burdens that we cannot lay down.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 8: Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem Luke 23: 27 – 29

Reading:
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. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed”’.

Reflection:
The depth of Jesus’ compassion flows out of this encounter. He himself is suffering, he is exhausted and in extreme pain, yet he stops to offer comfort to them. In return, we see that not everybody is against Jesus, and this group of women from Jerusalem are crying. They didn’t want to see him suffer this way, but Jesus tells them not to cry for him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, be with all those who mourn and are saddened because somebody they love has died. Lord Jesus, who told the women “weep for yourselves and for your children”, comfort our grief and accept the tears we weep for you as tokens of our love and signs of our repentance.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Prayers for Palm Sunday


Image result for genesis creation

Lord God, whose song of creation was sung over each and every one of us,
we thank you for the love you show to us and the love you share through us,
We bring before you those who feel unworthy of love, to those who feel love is a stranger to them.
For our sake you took frail flesh so that we might live.
Help us be a people worthy of your love.

Lord, in your mercy…. hear our prayer

Lord God, through whom salvation is bestowed on us,
friend of the friendless, our friend indeed.
We bring before you those people on our hearts who we know to be suffering – in mind, in body and in spirit.
As we pause, we will shape their faces in our minds Lord and offer them to you in silent prayer.

Give them strength to face each new day.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

Lord God, whose triumphant entry was strewn with palms and hosannas,
you know what it is to be first welcomed with open arms and then to be abandoned.
You feel our pain when we too are abandoned,
and we ask you Lord to remind us that with you, we are never alone, never rejected and never abandoned.
We pray for people around the world who do feel those things – the children in Yemen and Syria, the people living in refugee camps and fleeing from their homes, those who are marching towards a better life across hostile borders all the while anticipating rejection and intolerance when they arrive.
We pray your presence and your healing touch in their lives,

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer

Lord God, here might we stay and sing of your divine story,
as we remember those recently departed and who now live in your eternal kingdom.

We give thanks for all Christian people who have gone before us, and who now gladly spend all their days in your sweet praise.

 Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer

And as we close our prayers, committing ourselves to your unfailing love, in the company of St Margaret, St George and all your saints, we ask,

Merciful father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son our saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 7. Jesus falls for the second time


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 7: Jesus falls for the second time Isaiah 53: 4 – 5

Reading:
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.

Reflection:
The heavy burden relieved, the battered face cleansed, but Jesus was overcome with exhaustion for a second time. Jesus had yet to face the final agony, but he was stricken down by the anguish and torment of a fallen world. A world that did not know its need of him, nor understand who was passing by on that unforgiving road.

Prayer:
As we think of your painful struggle, we ask you to be with us when we struggle to do what is right. We ask you Lord Jesus to remain with all those who are in great pain, especially those who are close to death. Open our eyes to the pain and injury our sins inflict, so we may come to hate sin as you hate it, and love truth as you love it. Turn our bitterness to hope.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus Isaiah 52: 14, 53: 2 – 3

Reading:
There were many who were astonished at him – so marred was his appearance… he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces.

Reflection:
Veronica was very brave, she fought her way through the hostile crowd to wipe Jesus’ face. Her compassion drove her through the barriers in her way, and the story says that after she had wiped his face, the image of Jesus’ face appeared on her cloth.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you told your disciples that they would always see you, especially in the faces of the sick and those who suffer. We ask that you help us to see your face in those we meet, and like Veronica, may we show great love and compassion to all. Lord, who printed the image of your face on a white linen cloth, print your image in our hearts so we carry it always within us.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.

Christianity

Stations of the Cross – 5. Simon helps Jesus carry his cross


The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.

Station 5: Simon helps Jesus carry his cross Luke 23: 26

Reading:
As they were leading him away, they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus.

Reflection:
It is interesting here that Simon of Cyrene did not volunteer to carry Jesus’ cross. He was a foreigner himself, probably wanting to keep a low profile in the crowds that day, but he was thrust to the forefront of their attention by being pressed into helping in the most visible way possible. He soon realised what a privilege it is to serve Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, help us to be like Simon. There are so many people who suffer and need our help. Each day we have the chance to show somebody love and are. Help us never to miss these opportunities. Lord, who accepted the help of an unwilling stranger to carry your Cross, make use of us even when we have become strangers to you through sin.

Hear us and heal us, O Lord.