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STATIONS OF THE CROSS
During the COVID-19 PANDEMIC

NOTE: Stations of the Cross on Easter Friday (2 April) will use the version under Church News

Jesus on the cross

Preparation for Stations of the Cross

In preparing for praying the Stations of the Cross, place a crucifix and a lit candle on a table. You may also wish to set aside a minute or two to sit in a comfortable position, gather your thoughts, and pray in silence for your personal intentions.

You may do the Stations while sitting down, but please note that the Twelfth Station is done while kneeling throughout. As we pray and reflect on what the Lord went through for our salvation, let us also think on our situation in during this time of nationwide Lockdown and unite our anxieties, our pains and our worries with those of the Lord who know fully well what human suffering entails.

OPENING:

READER: In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

ALL: Lord Jesus we offer our prayers to you today for our world, our country, and our local community.
As we meditate on your sacred Passion, may we take the pain and needs of all humanity and pray through your suffering for your creation: your people whom you love.
In your precious name, we pray.
Amen.

FIRST STATION – JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DIE

CELEBRANT: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, you were held captive and given a death sentence. This was truly undeserved but nonetheless it was still carried out – even though you were innocent.

There are thousands upon thousands in our world today who have been held captive not knowing what their fate will be: people on cruise ships, hotels, cities, neighbourhoods, those moved to military containment, people confined to their own homes and those in isolation.

They also are innocent victims: victims of a disease that cannot be seen, tasted or felt. We also pray for those in jails and prisons, immigration holding areas, and those who work there so that everyone’s health is protected. We pray for them. Allow them to feel your presence. Watch over them. Holy Spirit give them peace.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

SECOND STATION – JESUS TAKES HIS CROSS

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER:Lord, you were given a cross, a heavy load filled with the pain, death, and suffering of all humanity. The separation of our lives from yours through sin must have been a pain almost too heavy to bear.

Was the separation, death and sickness the world feels now from this virus, a part of the cross you carried?

May we depend on your love and your carrying of the cross to carry us through these times of the unknown.

Watch over us. Holy Spirit show us how to accept the cross of this pandemic and move forward.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

THIRD STATION – JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, you fell underneath the burden of the cross and the pain of your wounds. The road was not an easy path, and all of that brought you unexpectedly to your knees.

This coronavirus was unexpected and has brought our world, our nation, our community to its knees in trying to fight the invisible, the disease that is not always the same from person to person.

Country after country is falling… but just as you did not give up, neither does humanity that you created.

Watch over us.

Holy Spirit, with your help, may the world be given the wisdom to stand strong against this disease.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

FOURTH STATION – JESUS MEETS HIS GRIEVING MOTHER

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: : Lord, your mother loved you and you loved her. Meeting her when you were so fragile and so worn had to be difficult.

May all families in our world, in our nation, in our community come together and bond and help each other in this time of trial.

May the time we are together in our homes be considered a blessing so that we can get to know each other and care for each other in a more complete and loving way.

Watch over us.

Holy Spirit, bind us tighter and help us to feel comfortable with each other again.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

FIFTH STATION – SIMON HELPS JESUS CARRY THE CROSS.

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord the cross was heavy and you were slowing down. Simon was told to help you. And you humbly accepted his help.

We know in this time of pandemic each country is testing and working hard to fight the virus, to heal its citizens and to find a vaccine or medication that will help.

We pray for those in the World Health Organization, Centres for Disease Control, our President and all elected officials to make wise decisions to benefit all.

May the government leaders and medical teams of all the world’s nations be willing and able to share information with each other so that together, with the guidance of your Holy Spirit, we come to know what works and how to safely handle this cross of illness.

Watch over them. Through their service may they bring healing. Holy Spirit, guide them.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

SIXTH STATION – VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, blood, sweat and dirt covered your face and eyes and it was becoming difficult to see where you were going.
When your face was wiped with gentleness and out of love and care, you had a small moment of relief.

We look for ways to relieve anxiety and fear in all people, and for ways to protect and send information without panic and anger.

We hold in prayer all of our clergy who meet the sick daily and pray and anoint them. Keep them safe.

We pray for the medical community that cares for the sick and puts in endless and often thankless hours of vigilance.

Keep them safe, and give them wisdom.

May each country’s attempt to curb the growth of the virus be lessons for the world community.

Watch over us. Holy Spirit, help us to trust and not be filled with fear.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

SEVENTH STATION – JESUS FALLS A SECOND TIME

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, weakness again overcomes you and you fall under the weight of a cross that you bore on our behalf.

We pray in respect to the weakness of our health care and governmental systems in the ability to fight this unknown entity of coronavirus.
We have never experienced something like this and we need your help in combating it.

We are stronger when we are unified rather than fighting from within over policies and procedures.

Help us to identify our weaknesses and repair them and work together for the good of all humanity.

Watch over us.

Unite us.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to set aside differences, and help us rise to the occasion, to do your work here on earth.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

EIGHTH STATION – JESUS SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, some of your friends were reaching out to you in your greatest time of need.

In these challenging times we see instances of family and friends helping one another.

We see friends and strangers alike taking it upon themselves to feed children who will not eat due to school closures, by providing lunches for them.
We see medical professionals putting themselves on the line every day taking care of the sick, often not knowing if the illness that is being presented is serious or the common cold.

We hold in prayer all those in our town who are concerned for their loved ones and do everything they can to protect them.

Watch over them.

Encourage them.

Holy Spirit, give them an understanding of hope.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

NINTH STATION- JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, your pain from your head to your feet was burning and overwhelming.

It took immense concentration to put one foot in front of the other, and your pain was so intense that you fell again. No one can imagine what you were going through.

We have a hard time understanding that we are living in this day and age where a virus is making the world stand still.

We pray for those in our world who are trying to take advantage of others by hoarding items or trying to sell needed medical items at outrageous prices. This instils panic and frustration and anger.

Watch over us.

Change hearts.

Holy Spirit, convict their hearts so they stop unfair practices.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

TENTH STATION – JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, when you were stripped of your clothing, you were mocked and debased.

We have seen instances of those who are being mocked in profiling for this virus.

We ask forgiveness for times we have been afraid of someone because of their culture, their ethnicity, their age or their income level.

We are all your children and we must treat one another with dignity and care.
We pray for those in our world, country and town who are some of the most vulnerable to this virus:
those who have underlying health concerns, the aged, and those with disabilities.

Watch over them.

Build them up.

Holy Spirit, open our eyes to any treatment that is unfair and prejudicial, and give us courage to stand up for those in need.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

ELEVENTH STATION – JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

CELEBRANT: We adore You, O Christ and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, you were nailed to the cross and raised high for all to see and condemn.
Your suffering and dying tore through your body with every breath you took.
Your mother never left you, and a few of your friends stood by and held vigil for you.

Even in your pain you reached out to the thief next to you and assured him of salvation.

We also seek assurance in this time.

Some may feel afraid of a death of their comfort.

Jobs are being affected.

Life as we knew it weeks ago has changed all over the world.

Help us to find assurance in you.

You have promised that we are not alone.

May all understand this and recognize your presence.

Watch over all of them. Unite them. Holy Spirit, may they see Christ in each other.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

TWELFTH STATION – JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

CELEBRANT: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world

READER: Lord, your death was a pain-filled sacrifice.
You died for each one of us.

Unselfish, humble, perfect and complete was your surrender.

Your death freed us from the pain of eternal separation from you.
We pray for those in our world, nation, state and community who have died from or will succumb to the coronavirus.

We pray that all the souls of the faithful departed, through your mercy and goodness, be united with you.

Holy Spirit, may they be at rest in the knowledge of their worth.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

THIRTEENTH STATION – JESUS IS TAKEN FROM THE CROSS

CELEBRANT: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world

READER: Lord, your body was removed from the cross and your mother was there to accept your broken and lifeless body.

Her grief, sorrow and confusion may have been coupled with fear and anger.
Yet she had hope.

She knew you and she loved you and was filled with hope.

She did not understand what that hope consisted of, but knew that you would not leave those you loved abandoned and alone.

As people become sick with this unknown virus, we grieve for those who die.
We, too, live in a time of sadness and confusion, a time of fear and anger.
We look to your mother, Our Blessed Mother, as a model of hope in the face of the unknown.

Watch over us.

Mary, our Mother, please pray for us.

Holy Spirit, help us to find hope in the darkest of times, because we know we are never abandoned, especially during these times of great need.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

FOURTEENTH STATION – JESUS IS PLACED IN THE TOMB

CELEBRANT: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

READER: Lord, your body was put to rest in a new tomb given to your mother for your burial. This was the moment of complete separation for you and her.
We pray for those in our world, nation, and local community who feel or will feel complete separation because of this virus.

We must separate ourselves in social distancing.

We separate ourselves from those who are sick.

We stay in our homes afraid to move out of our safe zones and are being told to “hunker down.” Separation may be frightening and lonely, but it is also a blessed time for healing.

We pray for those who have no place where they may be kept safe and cared for…those who are homeless.

We pray for those who reside and work in shelters.

And we pray for all those who feel complete separation in this world because of death. Holy Spirit, please make your presence known to us in a special way when we feel alone.

(pause and pray in silence)

READER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

READER: Having prayed the Stations of the Cross, and reflected on what Jesus went through for our salvation, let us now conclude our prayer by praying in the words our Saviour taught us.

ALL: Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

READER: May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

AMEN

Maribeth Hopps is a Catholic, and a member of All Saints Parish in Bay City, Michigan. She is a Lay Minister of the Diocese of Saginaw.
She is passionate about ministry to people with disabilities and coordinator of Praying Our Faith Ministry in the Bay City area.
She is also the mother of one of the priests of the Diocese of Saginaw, Fr. Marc Hopps.

“I prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance before and during writing and gave thanks when it was completed. “It was pretty amazing, because I had a whole different viewpoint of the stations from the idea of this pandemic… it was just like a prayer … I absolutely don’t take any credit for it… I just felt that God wanted it.”
Maribeth Hopps

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