The Stations, or Way of the Cross, are a traditional method of meditating upon Christ's Suffering and Death.
In nearly every Catholic church, one can find 14 images marked by a cross around the building.
The faithful, in imitation of pilgrims to Jerusalem, have the custom of going from image to image, praying and meditating on our Lord's Passion and Death.
It is customary before each station to pray:
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee; Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
First Station -
Jesus takes up His Cross
Most willingly Jesus accepts and patiently bears His Cross for my sake. Will I refuse to bear my cross for His sake? No, my loving Redeemer, I will no longer seek to evade my cross, but with the Help of Thy Grace I will bear it with Christian patience and resignation and follow Thee always.
Third Station -
Jesus meets his sorrowful Mother
Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, meets Mary, the Queen of Martyrs. Oceans of grief deluge their Hearts as they face each other. They suffer thus for my sins. O Jesus, O Mary, bathe my sinful soul in a sea of true sorrow for my past offences. In all temptation I will say: `Jesus, Mary, help me!´
Fifth Station -
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Jesus accepts and returns the towel to Veronica. Upon it is left the impress of His adorable Face. Alas! My sins have disfigured Thy holy Countenance. O Jesus, grant me efficacious sorrow that all sin may be erased from my soul and that Thy Grace and Thy divine Image may be stamped upon it forever.
Seventh Station -
Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem
The Savior teaches the women not to weep for Him, but for their own sins and the sins of their children. How generous is He! O Jesus, grant that I may understand the true meaning of Thy Passion and be so inflamed with love for Thee that I may shed tears of blood over my past transgressions.
Ninth Station -
Jesus is stripped of his garments
What a pitiable spectacle is this shameful stripping of Jesus! Ghastly wounds are re-opened. Blood flows afresh. What shame would be mine if the veil were torn from my soul and the world saw my hidden sins! O Jesus, help me to know all my sins and confess them with deep sorrow and true humility.
Eleventh Station -
Jesus dies on the Cross
Jesus, my God, dies on the Cross for me. I have done nothing for Him. I too must die! O my Crucified Savior, grant that I may so live in the future that I may have no cause to fear a sudden and unprovided death. Jesus, for Thee I live. Jesus, for Thee I die!
Thirteenth Station -
Jesus is laid in the Tomb
Like Jesus, I too must lie in the grave. But Jesus rises in triumph on the third day. My buried Jesus, grant eternal rest to all who sleep in death. Have mercy on me and grant me the grace to rise to a new spiritual life, that dying to myself now, I may rise gloriously with Thee on the Last Day.
FOLLOW THE WAY OF THE CROSS
"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. Amen"
"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen"
"We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee." "Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world."