When people make pilgrimage to Jerusalem they are able to walk the journey that Jesus, cross laden, took from the heart of the city to beyond the walls where he was crucified.
Those who have made that particular journey have spoken about how moving it is. The walk through the streets is called the Via Dolorosa, stopping along the way to commemorate various points on this painful path. The stations through the streets of Jerusalem are a far cry from the quiet and serenity of a church building: there are crowds to squeeze through, cobbled paving to watch out for, shop sellers to ignore or avoid, there is hustle and bustle, colour and noise.
Most of us have not or may not be able to visit Jerusalem for that particular experience—which is where the Stations of the Cross come in. The Stations of the Cross are fifteen stops along a journey, each stop focussing on an incident that happened on the Via Dolorosa. Many churches, our own included, have various images: carvings, painting, or sometimes a simple cross, which mark out for us the stops along the way.
Within the peacefulness of our church buildings we make the journey in spirit, and through the journey, are able to see how the way of the cross is something that we often experience in our own lives. Sometimes, certain stations speak most clearly to us: perhaps because, through our own circumstances, we can relate to the experience of Jesus on this difficult journey.
Most of the Stations are taken directly from the Bible, so that the Stations of the Cross are a meditation on Scripture. Through our devotions we grow closer to Jesus and gain a deeper understanding of his sacrifice on the cross. If you have never experienced the Stations before then Lent is an ideal time to do so!
Beginning Tuesday 8th March
at 6.30 pm (before the 7pm Mass)
We hope these prayers will offer some help for you in your time of pain and sadness.
Here you will find
prayers of comfort and assurance,
prayers that help to express anger or hurt or pain,
prayers to strengthen and console,
prayers, too, for your departed loved one and to commend them to God.
May the love of God
and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and gently wipe away every tear from our eyes.
And may Almighty God bless us,
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord, in our grief we turn to you.
Are you not the God of love
always ready to hear our cries?
Listen to our prayers for (insert name)
whom you have called out of this world.
Lead him/her to your kingdom of light and peace
and count him/her among your saints in glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers of Trust
in darkness and light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us to trust your love,
to serve your purpose
and to praise your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen,
hear our prayers and comfort us;
renew our trust in your Son,
whom you raised from the dead;
strengthen our faith
that (insert name, and) all who have died
in the love of Christ
will share in his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you, now and forever. Amen.
Prayers of Hurt and Anger
you know our hurts and share our sorrows.
We are hurt by our parting from (insert name) whom we have loved:
when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,
when we long for words of comfort,
yet find them hard to hear,
turn our grief to truer living,
our affliction to firmer hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, the death of (insert name)
brings an emptiness into our lives.
We are separated from him/her
and feel broken and bewildered.
Give us confidence that he/she is safe
and his/her life complete with you,
and bring us together at the last
to the wholeness and fullness of your presence in heaven,
where your saints and angels enjoy you for ever and ever. Amen.
When Lonely or Afraid
Risen Lord Jesus,
draw near to us as we walk this lonely road.
Pierce our weary sorrow
and gladden our heavy hearts as you go with us,
and bring us in the end to your heavenly table. Amen.
whose Son Jesus Christ said,
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”,
take away our fear of death;
bring us to the place that he has gone to prepare for us;
and give us his peace for ever. Ame
Each week during Lent
we are invited to walk
the Stations of the Cross,
a powerful and moving devotion
which moves us on and helps us
to grow closer to Jesus.
The verses of the following hymn is traditionally sung between each Station
At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus at the last,
Through her soul, of joy bereavèd,
bowed with anguish, deeply grievèd,
now at length the sword hath passed.
O, that blessed one, grief-laden,
blessed Mother, blessed Maiden,
Mother of the all-holy One;
O that silent, ceaseless mourning,
O those dim eyes, never turning
from that wondrous, suffering Son.
Who, on Christ's dear mother gazing,
in her trouble so amazing,
born of woman, would not weep?
Who, on Christ's dear Mother thinking,
such a cup of sorrow drinking,
would not share her sorrows deep?
For his people's sins, in anguish,
there she saw the victim languish,
bleed in torments, bleed and die.
Saw the Lord's anointed taken,
saw her Child in death forrsaken,
heard his last expiring cry.
In the passion of my Maker,
be my sinful soul partaker,
may I bear with her my part;
of his passion bear the token,
in a spirit bowed and broken
bear his death within my heart.
May his wounds both wound and heal me,
he enkindle, cleanse, and heal me,
be his cross my hope and stay.
May he, when the mountains quiver,
from that flame which burns for ever
shield me on the judgment day.
Jesus, may thy cross defend me,
and thy saving death befriend me,
cherished by thy deathless grace:
when to dust my dust returneth,
grant a soul that to thee yearneth
in thy paradise a place.