The Children s Way of the Cross

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1 Concluding Prayers before the Altar Reflect on the whole experience We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. Remind the children that the story continues but why we conclude here, for now Remind children of Easter Vigil service To Christ our Lord who loves us, and washed us in his own blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. The Children s Way of the Cross Introduce the day and the Way of the Cross. Remind all that this is a solemn time together. Teach the song ahead of time. Opening Devotions In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Officiant and People 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. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. Dear Jesus, help us to hear and to see more about what you did for us, out of your great love for us. Thank you for the Way of the Cross, which leads us into Life. In your name we pray. Amen. The procession goes to the First Station.

2 First Station Jesus is condemned by Pontius Pilate As soon as it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And they all condemned him and said, He deserves to die. When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. Then he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. discuss Pilate washing his hands to show that he did not agree with what was happening, but that he let it happen anyway. All wash hands (bowl, water, towels) Prepared at Station: bowl, water, towels Fourteenth Station Jesus is laid in the tomb When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb. discuss burial practices then and now as developmentally appropriate Wrap a volunteer lovingly in a very large piece of linen/cheesecloth/toilet paper Prepared at Station: Very large piece of linen/cheesecloth/toilet paper Dear Jesus, help us to not judge others unfairly and to take responsibility for our own choices. Help us when others judge us. In your name we pray. Amen. Dear Jesus, you were laid in a tomb in a garden, and you rested on the Sabbath day. Help us to find our rest in you as we await the Life that is to come. In your name we pray. Amen.

3 Thirteenth Station The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother All you who pass by, behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow. My eyes are spent with weeping; my soul is in tumult; my heart is poured out in grief because of the downfall of my people. Do not call me Naomi (which means Pleasant), call me Mara (which means Bitter); for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. maybe talk about how we can feel mad at God sometimes and that s OK Show a picture of the Pieta by Michelangelo Prepared at Station: Picture of the Pieta Second Station Jesus takes up his Cross Jesus went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. Like a lamb he was led to the slaughter; and like a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he opened not his mouth. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. Take up a cross that will be carried/dragged by various children to the next Stations Prepared at Station: cross at this station Dear Jesus, Thank you for giving us the hope of resurrection, even after someone dies. We know that You care about our loved ones who have died and that we will see them again one day just as we will see You in Heaven someday. Amen. Dear Jesus, you picked up a cross to help us and save us. Give us courage to take up our own cross and follow you. In your name we pray. Amen.

4 Third Station Jesus falls the first time Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped; but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and was born in human likeness. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is the Lord our God. Talk about how to bow and kneel. Kneeling can hurt our knees. Falling down might skin our knees and hurt. Talk about how it feels when people laugh at us. Twelfth Station Jesus dies on the Cross When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, Woman, behold your son! Then he said to the disciple, Behold your mother! And when Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished! And then, crying with a loud voice, he said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. And he bowed his head, and handed over his spirit. instruct the children that it is traditional to kneel in silence for a bit at this Station Have each child who volunteers dip a sprig of parsley in vinegar and taste it Prepared at Station: Sprigs of parsley and a small bowl of vinegar Prepared at Station: One band-aid per child to remember skinned knees Dear Jesus, you know what it is like to get hurt, just like us. Protect us, Lord, when we hurt and help us to stand up when we fall. In your name we pray. Amen. Dear Jesus, you gave your all for us. You love us so much. Even at this moment of death, show us the Way of Life. In your name we pray. Amen. Leave the cross at this station

5 Eleventh Station Jesus is nailed to the Cross When they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him; and with him they crucified two criminals, one on the right, the other on the left, and Jesus between them. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, He was numbered with the transgressors. Read The Three Trees if you feel as though they still have the attention for it Prepared at Station: book The Three Trees Fourth Station Jesus meets his mother on the Way of the Cross To what can I liken you, to what can I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What likeness can I use to comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For vast as the sea is your ruin. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Talk about who loves us: parents, teachers, coaches, Jesus Prepared at Station: nothing here Dear Jesus, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that you might be able to bring everyone within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; in your name we pray. Amen. Dear Jesus, No one knows when a child hurts more than their own mother. Through Mary s love for you and your love for her, we know that we too are loved, even if it hurts sometimes. Lead us in this Way of the Cross, Lord, so that we may find Life. Amen.

6 Fifth Station The Cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene As they led Jesus away, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross to carry it behind Jesus. If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Talk about the cross being carried along how heavy would an adult sized on be Prepared at Station: nothing here Dear Jesus, We all need to help each other sometimes. Thank you for teaching us to help and to let others help us when we need them. In your name we pray. Amen. Tenth Station Jesus is stripped of his garments When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And they divided his garments among them by casting lots. This was to fulfill the scripture which says, They divided my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing. Roll die to see who gets the highest number, the lowest number, etc. These topics are very heavy and the children might want to rest in simplicity of the game for a minute. Prepared at Station: a die Dear Jesus, you went through so much for us and gave up everything for us, because of your great love for us. Help us when we have to go through difficult times to see your glory and your Life. In your name we pray. Amen.

7 Ninth Station Jesus falls a third time I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. He has besieged me and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. Though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes. Remember, O Lord, my affliction and bitterness, the wormwood and the gall! Talk about how we sometimes all feel very alone maybe like God is not there. Jesus knew that this would not be the end of His story, yet even He might have felt unloved. Remind the children about God s presence always even when we feel very alone and afraid. Prepared at Station: nothing here Sixth Station A woman wipes the face of Jesus We have seen him without beauty or majesty, with no looks to attract our eyes. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of men. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. Have each child wipe the face of another very gently as Veronica wiped Christ s face remembering that the face would be cut and bruised. Discuss how refreshing or soothing that could be. Prepared at Station: Very soft cloth (cloth diaper or unadorned tea towel) lightly dampened Dear Jesus, We are so thankful that you are with us on this Way of the Cross. Help us to know that you are with us in all of our tough times, that you know what it s like to be alone and sad sometimes. Help us to be good friends to others. In your name we pray. Amen. Dear Jesus, your face shows us how much you love us, even when you are in pain. Help us to comfort each other when we are in pain, that we may share in your love. In your name we pray. Amen.

8 Seventh Station Jesus falls a second time Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. For the transgression of my people was he stricken. Could bring in shepherd references usually we think of Christ as the Shepherd here we get Christ as Lamb; Passover language of the slaughtered lamb as appropriate for the developmental language of the children Eighth Station Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem There followed after Jesus a great multitude of the people, and among them were women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Have the children dip parsley springs in heavily salted water to taste the tears (reminiscent of a Passover dinner) Prepared at Station: Parsley sprigs and a small bowl of very salty water Prepared at Station: nothing here Dear Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. Help us to follow where you lead us, even on the Way of the Cross, knowing that you lead us into Life. In your name we pray. Amen. Dear Jesus, you know the things that make us sad. Help us to understand when we have made you sad through our words and actions. Teach us to say we re sorry and to ask for forgiveness, that you may bring us joy and peace. In your name we pray. Amen.

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