Good Friday

Please see Holy Week Monday, Holy Week Tuesday and Holy Week Wednesday for preparatory materials for tonight’s practice and for complete texts for each Station.

This outline is for use around a family’s home – either inside or out. For a printable version of this outline, go here.

You can find more information about the Stations of the Cross here and here; and other online Stations of the Cross here.

Tips for walking the Stations:
*You may want to stagger the beginning so each individual has personal time at each 
Station.
*Small children will likely need to be accompanied by an adult. If possible, share this 
responsibility so that each adult has an opportunity to walk the Stations for 
themselves.
*Let each person take their own time. Avoid setting limits to the ending.
*There is no final blessing or dismissal. Closing words are suggested, but you can also 
leave the ending open, flowing into Saturday’s Vigil.

A LEADER MIGHT BEGIN THE WALK WITH THESE OR SIMILAR WORDS:

On this Holy Night, we walk the Stations of the Cross, remembering God’s enormous love for each and every part of creation, for each and every human being, for each and every one of us, gathered here.

At each Station of the Cross, take your time. Breathe deeply and return to your breath often as a way to slow down and let yourself be present with God.

Each Station has four elements:

The STORY is shared through a biblical text. As you read the story (or the Excerpt), let yourself imagine the reality: feel, see, hear, smell, taste; wonder about the emotions of Jesus, of those closest to him, of the religious and political leaders making terrifying decisions, of the crowds and soldiers.

Pause for a moment after reading the STORY and reflect on your own feelings: where do you fit into the STORY? How does it affect you?

Read the REFLECTION and pause: what questions does it raise in you? Do you now find yourself in the STORY in a new way? How is God’s love being revealed in this part of the STORY?

Let the OBJECT focus and inspire your reflection: observe any emotional reaction the OBJECT elicits. Notice the train of thoughts the OBJECT inspires.

Close your time at each Station by reading the PRAYER silently, between you and God.

When you are ready, move to the next Station.

There is no final blessing or dismissal.

The Stations of the Cross are observed.
When everyone has completed all 14 Stations, a Leader might close the time with these or similar words:

We rest now in peace, awaiting what tomorrow brings…

There is no benedication (final blessing) or sending, as this time of worship flows into tomorrow evening’s and then into Sunday morning’s: one continuous observation of these Holy Days.



The First Station
Jesus Is at Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane

Excerpt
36-38 Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then [Jesus] said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.” (MSG)

Reflection
Jesus:
...is afraid.
...trusts God, but is led to a terrifying reality.
...prays: silent resting in God can calm an anxious heart and mind.
...urges us to stay alert and follow God’s lead, not let fear and anxiety rule 
our lives.

God is with you; with every person who is afraid and worried.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us in our worst fears and worries.
Thank you, Christ, for being with all who are afraid.

The Second Station
Jesus Is Betrayed by Judas, Arrested,
& Abandoned by the Disciples

Excerpt
At once [Judas] came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to [Judas], “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (NRSV)

Reflection
Jesus is:
...a friend, even after betrayal.
...non-violent and non-dominant.
...willing to accept “defeat”.
...willing to suffer so as to prevent the suffering of others.
...abandoned and isolated in the middle of his most terrifying moments.

God is with you; with every person who is betrayed and threatened.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we feel betrayed.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is threatened by violence or 
abandonment.

The Third Station
Jesus Is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

Excerpt
59-60 The high priests, conspiring with the Jewish Council, tried to cook up charges against Jesus in order to sentence him to death. But even though many stepped up, making up one false accusation after another, nothing was believable. (MSG)

Reflection
Jesus is:
...called a liar.
...called a blasphemer.
...called “wrong”.
...condemned by his religious leaders.

God is with you; with every person who is shunned by religious institutions.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we feel shut out.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is rejected by a faith 
community.


The Fourth Station
Jesus Is Denied by Peter

Excerpt
73 Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. “You’ve got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away.”
74-75 Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”
Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” [Peter] went out and cried and cried and cried. (MSG)

Reflection
Jesus is snubbed by his best friends.

God is with you; with every person who is rejected by their peers.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we feel left out.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is denied by their friends.

The Fifth Station
Jesus Is Judged by Pilate and Condemned to Die

Excerpt
24When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was imminent, he took a basin of water and washed his hands in full sight of the crowd, saying, “I’m washing my hands of responsibility for this man’s death. From now on, it’s in your hands. You’re judge and jury.”
25The crowd answered, “We’ll take the blame, we and our children after us.”
26Then [Pilate] pardoned Barabbas. But he had Jesus whipped, and then handed over for crucifixion. (MSG)

Reflection
Jesus is:
...wrongfully accused and condemned.
...tried on false evidence.
...denied due process.
...denied an advocate before the law.
...scapegoated.
...made the outcast.
...hated to the point of sacrifice.

God is with you; with every person who experiences injustice.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are wronged.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is denied justice.

The Sixth Station
Jesus Is Mocked

Excerpt
 28They stripped [Jesus] and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. (NRSV)

Reflection
Jesus is:
...ridiculed and mocked.
...the brunt of the worst kinds of “jokes”.
...beaten: physically, verbally, emotionally and spiritually.
...reduced to nothing.
...made completely vulnerable: naked in front of ridicule.

God is with you; with every person who is marginalized and bullied.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are bullied.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is pushed to the outside.

The Seventh Station
Jesus Is Helped by Simon to Carry the Cross

Excerpt 
26As they led [Jesus] away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. (NRSV)

Reflection
Jesus is:
...reduced to dependence on someone else.
...made completely vulnerable.
...weak.
...unable to fulfill his responsibilities without help.

God is with you; with every person who is stripped of or loses personal
agency.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are made to feel insignificant.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone whose personal power is taken 
away.

The Eighth Station
Jesus Acknowledges the Women of Jerusalem

Excerpt
27 A great number of the people followed [Jesus], and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28 But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Reflection
Jesus:
...breaks with tradition and social norms in order to show love.
...befriends people others consider to be “unclean”.
...welcomes and empowers people others deem worthless.

God is with you; with every person who is oppressed.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are devalued.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is dehumanized.

The Ninth Station
Jesus Is Crucified
Excerpt
 33When 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. (NSRV)

Reflection
Jesus is:
...stripped bare.
...humiliated.
...counted as nothing.
...forgiving and forgiven.
...familiar with death.

God is with you; with every person who is broken down and broken open.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are vulnerable.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is made to feel like nothing.

The Tenth Station
Jesus Promises a Condemned Thief Paradise

Excerpt
 42Then [the criminal at his side] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kindom.” 43[Jesus] replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Reflection
Jesus:
...comforts the incarcerated.
...promises the condemned a better world, a better life.

God is with you; with every person who is bound and imprisoned.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are tied to harmful ways of 
being.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who is in any kind of prison.


The Eleventh Station
Jesus Invites Mary and John into Relationship

Excerpt
26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then [Jesus] said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (NRSV)

Reflection
Jesus knows:
...the pain of a child separated from their parent.
...the pain of a parent separated from their child.
...the power of family and the loss when family is torn away.
...the deep grief of death’s abiding emptiness.

God is with you; with every person who grieves the loss of beloved family.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we are separated from our loved 
ones.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who has no one to love.


The Twelfth Station
Jesus Dies on the Cross

Excerpt
50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. (NRSV) 

Reflection
Jesus knows:
...what it is to feel cut off even from God.
...what it is to be recognized only after the fact.
...what it is to be completely alone and utterly helpless.

God is with you; with every person who is lost and lonely.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we feel lonely.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who has no one.


The Thirteenth Station
Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross

Excerpt
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58[Joseph] went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. (NRSV)

Reflection
Jesus knows death:
...the cold separation from life.
...the extinguishing of blood and spirit.
...the fall into the Divine Mystery.

God is with you; with every person who faces the mortality of the body, 
mind and spirit or the finiteness of social norms, hopes and dreams, or ways of life.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we believe that everything 
important or beautiful is gone.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who has sacrificed on behalf of 
others.


The Fourteenth Station
Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb

Excerpt
60Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linens, put it in his own tomb, a new tomb only recently cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the entrance. (MSG)

Reflection
Jesus knows:
...complete isolation.
...the permanence of death.
...total emptiness.

God is with you; with every person who faces any tomb with fear, doubt, 
anxiety or grief.

Prayer
Thank you, Christ, for being with us when we sink into despair or sorrow.
Thank you, Christ, for being with everyone who grieves.

When everyone has completed all 14 Stations, a Leader might close the time with these or similar words:

We rest now in peace, awaiting what tomorrow brings…

There is no benediction (final blessing) or sending, as this time of worship flows into tomorrow evening’s and then into Sunday morning’s: one continuous observation of these Holy Days.

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