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The Stations of the Cross

Published On Posted in Book & Resource Reviews

The Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.  

All Catholic parishes have depictions of Christ’s Passion and death called the Stations of the Cross, The Way of the Cross or Via Dolorosa (way of suffering) In many churches, the Stations of the Cross are depicted in stained-glass windows, but other media are used as well, including paintings and stone or wood carvings and sculptures.  Often on Friday evenings during Lent, you can find a parish that’s open with Catholics meditating and saying prayers in unison before each of the 14 stations.

The Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion that offers witness to Jesus’ Passion and Death. Often, the Stations of the Cross is an action prayer. Catholics walk to the fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross and stop to pray at each one.  At each station we use our senses and our imagination to reflect prayerfully upon Jesus’ suffering, Death, and Resurrection, and to simply experience the visual images to reflect on Christ’s love for us.

We've listed the best Way of the Cross prayer resources for...

    • busy adults who may not be able to join your parish Stations of the Cross prayer time.

For Beginners


BH-video-icon red Stations of the Cross with Father Reed



Father Robert Reed reflects on Jesus' road to Calvary where he was crucified on the cross.  Fr. Reed, of the Archdiocese of Boston, has long entertained a keen interest in the full use of television and new media for an engaging and truthful sharing of Catholic Faith and life.  He believes that the best remedy for discouraged Catholics is a reclaimed sense of the Catholic Church's rich traditions.
 
View on YouTube (free)

BH-web-icon red Stations of the Cross for BeginnersThe Stations of the Cross:  A Devotional Guide 

A 15-part series of devotional reflections on The Stations of the Cross (including 14 stations plus an Easter postscript). The author “walks” through the stations with you, one station per day.  Scripture passages, personal reflections and prayers, and specially comissioned artwork  help you pray each station. This online version of The Way of the Cross can help you enter into a deeper understanding and experience of the passion of Jesus, so that you might be ready to celebrate Easter with new joy and freedom.

Available online (free).

BH-book-icon redEveryone's Way of the Cross  Everyone's Way of the Cross

"This is a great way to pray the Stations! The insights and meditations very meaningful and bite-sized."

For more than forty years, the simple, intimate, and powerful words of Clarence Enzler's Everyone's Way of the Cross have invited readers to grow closer to Christ by embracing the mystery of suffering in the world. The beautiful, meditative, commissioned artwork expresses how these meditations show Christ among us--often in unexpected places. In the words of the artists: "We find him in the subway, yearning at the border, standing in the soup line--the bewildered soldier, the single mother, the abused child, the lonely senior, the bullied teen."

Available in paperback ($1.50) and Kindle ($0.99) editions.

for Busy Adults

BH-book-icon red  John Paul II's Biblical Way of the CrossJohn Paul II's Biblical Way of the Cross

In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide to invite readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross-- from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial. Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael OBrien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

Available in paperback from Amazon ($2.50)

BH audio icon red  Praying the Way of the Cross - featuring Liam Neeson


Oscar-nominated actor Liam Neeson is the featured narrator of this album.  Neeson reads the Introduction and prayers for each of the 14 Stations of the Cross written by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori. The 18th-century Italian saint is a doctor of the Church and founded the Redemptorist.  Instead of feeling dated, the meditations (in Neeson's rich voice) and music make the prayer come alive.

Available on iTunes or Amazon ($9.99) 

BH web icon red  Via Crucis: Catholic Meditations on the Way of the Cross 


Let the writings of St. Francis of Assisi help you to meditate on the Way of the Cross of Jesus Christ. This app follows the traditional Stations of the Cross with both portrait and lasdscape settings.  Beautiful artwork accompanies the meditations for each station.  The app also allows you to restart from a previous stopping point if you are interrupted - which makes it a great choice for busy on-the-go Catholics.

Available for iOS ($1.99)


For Children And Families

BH-book-icon red The Way of the Cross ChildrenThe Way of the Cross

(Ages 5 - 10) Beautifully illustrated and simply written, this little guide is a wonderful introduction to an important prayer and ancient devotion of the Church.  This lovely book can be used by the whole family at church or at home.

The book begins with a description of the events of that first Holy Week, when Jesus suffered, died and rose from the dead. There is also a brief history of the Way of the Cross devotion, which began in Jerusalem. Each station includes a Scripture verse, a brief text to help children imagine the scene, a four-color illustration, and a prayer.

Available from The Catholic Company or Magnificat ($9.99)

BH video icon red Multimedia Stations of the Cross for Children

 
Multimedia stations of the cross for children(Ages 10+) Loyola Press has prepared a multimedia stations of the cross for children. There is a PDF document that you can download and/or print out. In addition, there is a wonderful multimedia meditation with music and images.  The station reflections do not make explicit connections to our own lives, so it is important for parents of younger children to expaned on the beautiful images and music with connections to what these stations means for us today. 

For example – Jesus is condemned – have you ever felt condemned or condemned someone who had really not done anything wrong? Do we condemn those who are not like everyone else and exclude them?
 
View the video presentation or download the PDF.  Also available in Spanish.

BH audio icon red Stations of the Cross CD for childrenHoly Heroes Stations of the Cross CD & Prayer Book

(All Ages) A great way to bring one of the most popular family devotions to your home in a way that touches young and old alike. Children lead the short meditations and the prayers. Each station is also described with sound effects and music. Includes an introduction with background and "how to pray the Stations of the Cross."

Looking for a prayer book so children can lead the Stations... but that still speaks to every member of the family?  Pair the CD with the Stations of the Cross Prayer booklet.   Prayers for every Station with artwork to aid in meditation make this a great resource to allow children to lead the Stations.

Purchase both the Stations of the Cross CD ($14.95) and the Stations of the Cross Prayer Book ($6.95) at Holy Heroes.

BH-book-icon red Way of the Cross for TeensWalk New: Way of the Cross for Teens

(Ages 12 and up) "Walk New" is the ideal book to use as a Lenten Resourse for both teens and adults.  It addresses many issues our youth face in their lives today. The excellent meditations for young people to draw closer to Christ and to help them to carry their cross, give themselves in service, and grow in holiness.

Available in paperback on Amazon.

 


 

Have a favorite Stations of the Cross resource?  We'd love to hear about it - please share it in the comments below!

 

Tags: Prayer Lent

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