Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, Dr Paula Gooder and Bishop Philip North reflect on the 15 Biblical Stations of the Cross.
The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion for many centuries because they offer a particularly vivid way of following in the steps of Jesus on the way to the Cross. In the earliest days of Christian pilgrimage, visitors to Jerusalem would walk the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. In the late fourteenth century, the Franciscan protectors of the holy places in Jerusalem put up images at which people would pause, reflect and pray. Eventually, those pilgrims brought the practice of walking a path of images from Christ’s passion back to their home countries, and many churches have images of the traditional Stations of the Cross on their walls. If you can, do also try to look at the powerful images of the biblical stations by Nicholas Markell. These are featured in the book Walking the Way of the Cross and the posters that go with it, and they can also be found online.
The Fifteenth Station: Jesus risen from the dead
“He found me. And when he did, there was such a smile on his face. He said with earnest joy, that I was the one he had been looking for.”
Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Fifteenth Station: Jesus risen from the dead, with readings and prayers from Philip North.
Today's reading is Mark 16.4-8
This episode also includes the Conclusion.
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus laid in the tomb
“Joseph of Arimathea slips into this story and then swiftly out again. No sooner has he been mentioned than he disappears. His appearance may be brief, but his contribution is incalculable.”
Paula Gooder reflects on the Fourteenth Station: Jesus laid in the tomb, and leads today’s prayers and readings.
Today's reading is Mark 15.46
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus dies on the cross
“The selfishness of sin is overcome by the selflessness of love. And our response? To try and love as Jesus loved. To offer our lives as a gift to the poor as Jesus offered his life to us who have nothing. If the cross is our only hope, then it will also be our lifestyle.”
Philip North reflects on Thirteenth Station: Jesus dies on the cross, with readings and prayers from Stephen Cottrell.
Today's reading is Mark 15.34–37
The Twelfth Station: Jesus on the cross; his mother and his friend
“What connection is there between Jesus and Mary? She was his mother and he loved her so much that, even from the cross, he ensured she was cared for and looked after.”
Paula Gooder reflects on the Twelfth Station: Jesus on the cross; his mother and his friend, with readings and prayers from Philip North.
Today's reading is John 19.26, 27
The Eleventh Station: Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief
“He is waiting for me. Knowing that I must find this thing within myself. Not just penitence, but love. Not merely acquittal, but hope. ‘Remember me’, I say to him, ‘in that kingdom of yours.”
Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Eleventh Station: Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief, with readings and prayers from Paula Gooder.
Today's reading is Luke 23.39–43
The Tenth Station: Jesus is cruciﬁed
“The God of all creation. The one whom angels worship. The Lord of the universe. Yet look at him now: stark naked, humiliated before a mocking crowd. Jesus has lost everything.”
Philip North reflects on the Tenth Station: Jesus is cruciﬁed, with readings and prayers from Stephen Cottrell.
Today's reading is Mark 15.24