Via
Crucis

Via Crucis

The way of the cross

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” (Lk 24: 25‑26).

This was the response Jesus gave to the two disciples on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, after having heard them discuss between them what had happened to him. They were feeling brokenhearted, lost and they did not know what to do with themselves except get away as far as possible. Nevertheless, Jesus walks the road with them and through his own experience of suffering on the cross, sheds light on the suffering and the darkness of the disciples so that they finally recognise him and they return to share the joy of the resurrection with their brothers and sisters who were gathered in Jerusalem.

Throughout the fourteen stations along this Way of the Cross, we will also be journeying with Jesus and he will be accompanying us. Along this way, Jesus will be walking with us along the roads of our daily lives, the dead ends of our darkest corners, the avenues of our communities and of the Church, the squares of our society, so that he may also shed light on us, heal our wounds and give us a taste of his love.


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Jesus is unjustly condemned to death

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate the unjust condemnation to death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John  (19: 13-16)
When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

“You will not die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3: 4–5). This was how the devil deceived the first humans. This was also the deception of the fomented mob: the trap of pride that leads the human to rebel against the fount of life and deny truth, thus putting their own selves as the ultimate measure. However, this same desire for emancipation plunges them deeper into slavery. Instead of electing Jesus as their king, they choose Caesar, a despot who was ruling Israel with an iron fist.

 “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Jn 8: 31–32). Lord, manifold are the heavy chains bound to our feet which we drag as we walk beside you, but we know that “grace and truth came through” you (Jn 1: 17).

(brief silent pause)


After each one of Christ’s statements, we respond together:
R/. My Lord I believe in you, who are all Truth.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (Jn 14: 6) R/.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower … abide in me, as I in you … apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15: 1.4a.5c) R/.
“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world … Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”  (Jn 17: 6a.17) R/.
“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.” (Jn 17: 18–19) R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus carries His cross

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate our Lord Jesus being presented with the Cross which he meekly accepts for the love that he bears us.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke  (9: 23-24)
Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.

We are often perplexed by our limitations and our weaknesses; our life’s events leave us reeling. We try, in various ways, to deny that they are part of who we are and that they form our history. Instead we embrace the illusion of who we would like to be. Jesus is encouraging us to reject these false ideas and the image of who we wish we could be; he calls us to clasp to us the cross of our reality just as it is, for it is in this reality that he meets us and calls us to follow him, weighed down as we are, just like Peter and his companions on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Lord, whilst we try to escape our human predicament, you truly became a man and you did not escape. As you boldly clasp the cross to yourself, may you make our hearts humble so that we may accept our limitations and thus, through them, may we behold your power as you transform them into instruments of your saving grace.

(brief silent pause)

 


Together we respond:
R/. We declare you crucified.

When we are tempted to escape our human predicament. R/.
As a remedy for our pride. R/.
When we are afraid to witness for you in front of others. R/.
When we are inclined to seek our convenience. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus falls for the first time

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate the moment of the first fall under the cross of our Lord Jesus, on his way to Calvary.

From Psalm 22  ( 13‑15)
Many bulls encircle me,
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;

Exhausted after a night of brutal mistreatment and scourging, his legs collapse and the cross crushed him under its weight. Upon hitting his knee against the ground, the challenge from three years previously, following forty days of fasting in the desert, echoes in his head like a thunder bolt: “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread” (Lk 4: 3). Satan’s challenge is the same which crushes humankind beneath it when, in the garden, the first humans decide to assert themselves as above Creation and in opposition to God, instead of discovering their role as God’s co-operators and partners. We are tempted to abuse creation, to use it rather than tend it, to manipulate it, to bend it to our capricious will, when we ought to protect it and sustain it in its progress towards its realization and fruition.

Lord, we pray that you heal our selfishness which blinds us and prevents us from seeing anything but our self-interest and convenience. May we rediscover the mission with which you had originally entrusted us, when you chose us from among our fellow creatures to nurture and rule over creation in your name and alongside yourself.

(brief silent pause)


Together we respond to the Psalm (69)
R/. Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good.
(69, 2-4.14)

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire
where there is no foothold. R/.

I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. R/.

But as for me,
my prayer is to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus meets His mother, Mary

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate the meeting between Our Lord Jesus and his most Blessed Mother Mary, on the way to Calvary and how they were cruelly separated.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (2: 33-35)
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Our innermost core conceals many wounds resulting from broken relationships, especially from the most intimate that mould us and shape our future. We are wounded when our trust is broken and we retreat into our skin. In the way of the cross, where the new covenant of God’s love with his sinful people is about to be sealed, the meeting between the New Adam and the New Eve is also being hindered. Nonetheless, the loving bond between these two souls is so strong that it becomes like an indestructible bridge over the abyss which had opened up beneath them.

Lord, approach us and with your Mother, heal our wounded deepest selves and restore our confidence in ourselves and in others.

(brief silent pause)

 


After every invocation we respond together:
R/. Instill your love in us.

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. R/.
New Adam and New Eve. R/.
Heart of Jesus pierced by a lance and Heart of Mary pierced through by the sword of sorrow. R/.
Mother and Son whose love put redemption into action. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.

 


Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate our Lord Jesus being helped by Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross, on his way to Calvary.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke  (23: 26)
As they led him 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.

Reports about pandemics and illnesses all over the globe provoke fear in us. However, we must not dismiss the plague of extreme individualism that is swiftly killing souls in our age. Indifference and distraction, egoism and time constraints are crumbling our readiness and our determination to be like Simon of Cyrene to one another.

On the Mount of Beatitudes, you told us, “if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (Mt 5: 41–42). However, our hearts can harden to those who are discarded at the side of the road pleading for life; we do not want to be burdened. Lord, we pray that when you approach us concealed in our neighbour who is begging for mercy, we may be vigilant and ever ready to acknowledge you and serve you.

(brief silent pause)


We make this popular prayer ours, by responding:
R/. Lord make me a friend to all.

Lord help me lest I pass somebody on the street
and look at him with indifference,
with callousness or with a hurried step R/.

Lord, do not let me delay to show empathy to those around me.
Help me to identify those who are worried and confused.
May compassion lead me to give them relief. R/.

Lord, save me from myself,
So I may serve, love you,
And hear you speak through all the brothers
whom I will meet by your holy will. R/.

G. Volpi

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate when on his way to Calvary, Jesus meets Veronica who, approaching him, wipes his Holy Face with her veil, upon which Jesus left his image as a remembrance for us.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (52: 13-15)
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

“Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness” (Gen 1, 26). This was said of us when we were created. Sin, however, tarnished this image causing our soul to be disfigured and our original beauty to be wounded. It was through the disfigured face of the Son of Man, mockingly crowned with thorns instead of being framed by well-groomed hair, that the image of God that we are was endowed with God’s grace and given the opportunity to be restored to the original likeness it was promised (see CCC 1701). 

Lord, Veronica was bold enough to approach you and touch your holy face with her veil, thus becoming a witness to the most beautiful of men (Psalm 45, 3). Imprint once more your merciful face on our hearts so that with unveiled faces we reflect your glory, as though in a mirror (see 2 Cor 3, 18).

(brief silent pause)


Together we respond to the Psalm (27 [26]: 1.7‑8.9.13‑14):
R/. Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Salm 26 (27), 1.7‑8.9.13‑14

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? R/.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, do I seek. R/.

Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!          R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus falls for the second time

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate our Lord Jesus, falling under the cross for the second time, on his way to Calvary.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (53: 3-5)
He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

He is now overcome by fatigue. The constant blood loss throughout the gruelling walk caused him to collapse once again beneath the weight of the cross. With his face to the ground, in the darkness, he sees in front of him all the kingdoms of the world that the beguiler had shown him when the Spirit had taken him to the desert to be tempted by the devil. On that day, in his vanity, the tempter had made him this promise: “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Lk 4: 6–7). This was not how he wanted to conquer the kingdom though. Might, violence, manipulation and compromise were not how he was choosing to retrieve the world; but he wanted to accomplish this through love, service and by the outpouring of his life till the very end. 

Lord, you are the Good Shepherd who gives his life for his flock. You did not come to be served but to serve and to give your life for the redemption of all. Heal our lust for power. May we use any power which we hold over others and with which you entrusted us, not for our personal gain but to serve others.

(brief silent pause)


After every invocation we respond: R/. Make us servants of our brothers and sisters.

You who helped, consoled and forgave whoever you came across when you walked among us. R/.
You who, as the Image of the Father, have offered yourself to the world as a sacrifice for our redemption. R/.
You who washed the disciples’ feet at the last supper. R/.
You who came to bring us life, and life in abundance. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate the meeting between our Lord Jesus Christ and the women of Jerusalem, on his way to Calvary and how they pitied him and wept for him, whereby Jesus told them: “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (23: 28‑31)
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

The loss of values that we witness in our midst often compel us to cry out with the psalmist, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11: 3). Society is increasingly more reliant on its own resources and, hence, seems to be denying God. It is as though this process is bound to wipe out Christ and his teachings and, like the women of Jerusalem, we justifiably grieve: not merely for the loss of a world in which we grew up and which we cherished, but, more importantly, because with the values that are being lost, the value and respect for humankind is also becoming weaker.

Lord, we know that you are righteous, that you love righteous deeds, and that the upright shall behold your face. (Psalm 11: 7). Give us the power to resist the spirit of the world and to persevere in upholding the values imparted by your holy Gospel, despite the many times we find ourselves alone, going against the current.

(brief silent pause)


Together we respond to the Psalm (16 [15]: 1–2.5.7‑8.10–11):
R/. The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord,
“You are my Lord; I have no good apart from
you.”
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. R/.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.R/.

For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus falls for the third time

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate the third fall, beneath the cross, of our Lord Jesus, on his way to Calvary.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (20: 7-9)
O LORD, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For the third time he falls, but like twice before, he has to get back on his feet, since his end has not yet come. As he lifts up his head from the ground, despite the crowd which is surrounding him, his eyes wander off for a brief moment, and his gaze falls on the peak of the Holy of Holies at the temple’s core—that same peak where the devil had taken him while tempting him in the desert, as he murmured in his ear: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here” (Lk 4: 9).

Lord, the tempter urged you to use the holy place to acquire fame so that everyone would come to believe in you effortlessly, but you refused, out of respect for our free will. We pray that, following your example, we do not seek glory from human beings but from God alone, who sees that which is hidden.

(brief silent pause)


Together we respond to the Psalm (91: 1–4.10–11): R/. He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my
fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.” R/.

For he will deliver you from the snare of the
fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge. R/.

No evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.

 


Jesus is stripped of His clothes

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate our Lord Jesus arriving at Calvary where his tunic, which is adhered to the scourging wounds, is ripped away from his holy flesh.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (19: 23-24)
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

The Fathers of the Church saw a symbol of the universal Church in the seamless tunic. However, we all know that, through the centuries, the Church has often been torn apart by strife and division. The actual gesture of stripping reminds us of those who were stripped of their dignity, within the Church and by Church members.

 Remind us, Lord, of your white robe, with which you clothed us at our baptism (see Gal 3: 27). Cleanse it of all the blemishes of guilt, wash it and make it white in your blood. Strip us of all vanity, so that we are truly united to you as your humbled brothers and sisters, and thus, humbled like yourself, we witness to the true, essential dignity of humankind—a dignity which, without exception, should always be safeguarded.

(brief silent pause)


“There is no peace without justice.” Saint Pope John Paul II used these words in his message for World Peace Day in 2002, a few days before his journey to Assisi where, alongside the leaders of world religions, he prayed for world peace. With this in mind, after each invocation from the simple prayer attributed to Saint Francis, let us respond together:
R/. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace..

Where there is hatred, let me sow love. R/.
Where there is injury, let me spread pardon. R/.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith. R/.
Where there is despair, let me strengthen hope. R/.
Where there is darkness, let me kindle light R/.
Where there is sadness, let me propagate joy. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus is nailed to the cross

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate when Jesus is ordered to lie down on the cross, and obeying, is hammered to the cross for our sins.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (23: 33-34)
When 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. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

In the same message for World Peace Day 2002, Saint John Paul II reiterates: “There is no peace without justice, there is no justice without forgiveness”. Broken hearts need healing, but not through vengeance, bitterness, division and hatred. Only forgiveness brings healing. Forgiveness transforms suffering and injustice into a fount of salvation, for us, personally and also for those who hurt us.

Lord, forgiveness is hard for us. It contradicts our instinct marred by sin. It challenges the logic of the world. Despite this, you taught us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Mt 6: 12). We know that there is no other way to healing other than forgiveness. Therefore, we pray, that through us, you love those who have caused us harm, because through our own sole efforts, we struggle to love them.

(brief silent pause)

 


With the desire to be perfect like our Father in heaven (Mt 5: 48), we bring forward those who require our forgiveness, and together, we sincerely say:
R/. Lord, we forgive them as you forgave us..

Our enemies. R/.
Those who persecute us. R/.
Those who humiliate us. R/.
Those who cheated or robbed us. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus dies on the cross

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate when our crucified Lord Jesus was lifted up between two thieves, and after three hours in agony, he died on the cross for our sins.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark (15: 34-37)
At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

In suffering, many are so scandalized by God’s silence that they lose their faith. For us believers, this silence stretches our faith to its limit. In the abyss of silence, there is, nonetheless, the manifestation of God’s infinite love: God who takes onto himself all the evil of humankind and endures it within himself so that we do not die but gain life. Along with our sins, he takes onto himself all our heartbreaks, all our hurts: and our groans become his in one deafening groan.

Lord, despite our good will, we cannot solve all of the world’s problems and heal all of its wounds. Thus, please remind us constantly that we are not called to save the world but to be present, without evading, by the side of those who suffer. Open our hearts so that we are ever ready to console and carry the weight of others, while at the same time forever lifting our voices to heaven.

(brief silent pause)


We respond to these invocations from the litany of the Most Precious blood of Jesus, by saying: R/. Save us.

Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross. R/.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation. R/.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no salvation. R/.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril. R/.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow. R/.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus is taken down from the cross

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate Jesus being brought down from the cross and laid in the arms of his Most Holy Sorrowful Mother.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (19: 25-27)

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

The image of Jesus, laid in his Mother’s arms, although sorrowful, instills in us a sense of safety, as of one who is safe at home, surrounded by his loved ones. The Mother’s loving arms remind us that within the family, wounds are tended to and healed. However, at times the family itself is wounded or becomes the cause of wounds.

As you lie there in your Mother’s arms, as though back in her womb, we bring to you all families, especially the wounded families. Look after all their members, and may they find in us, as your Church, a family who welcomes and accompanies them.

(brief silent pause)

 


We bring to the Lord all the families in the world as we pray together: R/. Lord, look after our families.

In our daily toil. R/.
In the hour of distress and discouragement. R/.
Where there is violence and unfaithfulness. R/.
And also at the joyful and favorable times. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.


Jesus is placed in the tomb

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

We contemplate when Jesus was taken from his Mother’s arms and laid in a new tomb.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew  (27: 59-61)

So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

Despite the darkness and silence of the tomb, humanity is in anticipation of a hope as yet unnamed. In the silence lies the seed of the resurrection and joy of Easter. Thus, as world events keep us living in Easter Saturday, in this time between the Lord’s resurrection and ours, our waiting cannot be futile and lethargic. We need to be vigilant; because life is not a pointless waiting, but an anticipation of Christ’s coming.

Lord, as we eagerly wait for the celebration of your holy resurrection, mould us into servants who are ever vigilant. Set us on fire with yearning for you; so that we may set the world on fire with that same yearning. We accomplish this with the conviction that only through the encounter with you can the death within us be transformed into life.

(brief silent pause)


Together we respond to the Psalm (129: 1–2.5–8)::
R/. For with the Lord there is steadfast love.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications! R/.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning.  R/.

More than those who watch for the morning,
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities. R/.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V/. Blessed be the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R/. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.

For the intentions of the Holy Father: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be


Salve Regina to our Lady of Sorrows


Conclusion

“Stay with us, Lord” (Lk 24 29). This was the prayer uttered by the two disciples as you had almost reached Emmaus at the end of the day. When they realized it was you and they recognized you at the breaking of bread, you disappeared from their sight. Notwithstanding, they realized that, from then on, they would never be alone again, left to their own devices. They also could not keep to themselves the joy of that moment.

At the end of this way, Lord, we also ask you to stay with us. We ask you to lead our steps along your path. We ask you to lead us fearlessly to our brothers and sisters with whom we will share your heartening presence. May our communities be living cenacles where, and through which, the good news of your death and resurrection, may reverberate forever. Amen.