Christ before Pilate, Horace Pippin, 1941.
The Stations of the Cross are a practice of prayer that dwells with Jesus’ journey from his sentencing, until his body was laid in the tomb. You could sit in a quiet place and read and pray the Stations, or you might call them up on a smartphone and take them on a walk with you, pausing to read and pray as you move around your neighborhood. There are many online versions of the Stations. This is the one we have been using at St. Dunstan’s in recent years.
When reading with more than one person, text in bold is read all together. When reading on your own, simply read all the text yourself.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Let us pray. Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
First station: Jesus is condemned by Pilate
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke
Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.’ Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’ Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no basis for an accusation against this man.’ But they were insistent and said, ‘He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.’ (Luke 23:1-5)
A Reflection from Hildegard of Bingen
Now in the people that were meant to green, there is no more life of any kind. There is only a shriveled barrenness. The winds are burdened by the utterly awful stink of evil, selfish goings-on.
Thunderstorms menace. The air belches out the filthy uncleanliness of the peoples. There pours forth an unnatural, a loathsome darkness, that withers the green, and wizens the fruit that was to serve as food for the people.
Holy God, Holy and mighty, Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.