On Good Friday many Catholics and Christians follow the tradition of praying the steps to the cross. Cincinnati celebrates praying the steps to the Cross at the Holy-Cross Immaculatta in Mt. Adams. People line the steps to the cross beginning at midnight of Good Friday continuing through Easter wee
Each of the stations are known at the steps to the cross and depicts the story of Jesus last walk before his crucifixion. Stations are usually set up outside but can be done at church or home.
Opening prayer: “Blessed Jesus, take me along the pathway to the cross that you once took to your death. With all my attention and a heavy heart, show me what you went through many years ago, for the love of all the world and me. Amen.”
- Jesus is condemned to death by Pilate. Jesus went before Pontius Pilate who knew Jesus was innocent, but the Jews convince Pilate to condemn Jesus to death. Jesus takes His cross after being beaten, laughed at and spit upon by the soldiers and walks to Mt. Calgary. He carries it through crowds of angry people who shout angry words at Him.
- Jesus falls for the first time. The cross is heavy andJesus falls from the weight of it. His head hurts from the piercing thorns upon his bleeding head, his wounds sting and he continually hears people screaming, and watches them spitting and throwing rocks and other things.
- Jesus meets up with His blessed Mother. Jesus sees his mother surrounded by a crowd. She is heartbroken as tears flood her eyes and she wishes she could help Jesus. Both of their eyes meet and their hearts ache for one another’s pain.
- Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross. The soldiers hurry along and grab Simon of Cyrene out of the crowd to help Jesus carry the cross. Jesus is grateful for the help.
- Veronica wipes Jesus’ face. In pity, Veronica wants to help Jesus and rushes into the road to wipe His face. Jesus face is covered with blood, sweat and dust. This small act of kindness is all she can do for Him.
- Jesus falls a second time. The road is long and the cross is heavy. Jesus is exhausted and falls again. The soldiers grow angrier, they yell and whip Him until he gets up and walks. He is suffering greatly for the sins of the world.
- Jesus talks to women of Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus met the women he taught. They are crying for Him and for their loss. They wonder what they will do without Jesus. He tells them not to weep for Him but for all sinners of the world.
- Jesus falls for the third time. Jesus looks up at Mt. Calvary hill and to see how much father He must go. He knows he is going to die and he loses all strength and falls again to the ground. There is more pain, still more sorrow to endure. Jesus loves us, so He keeps going.
- Jesus is stripped of his clothes. The crowd follows Jesus and the soldiers to Mt.Calvary. They laugh as soldiers pull His robe from his bleeding back and the dried blood tears open his wounds. The soldiers push and shove Jesus and don’t care who Jesus is and treat Him worse than a criminal.
- Jesus is nailed to the cross. Others have died on the cross before, but not like Jesus. They drive spikes through his hands and feet, instead of tying them with rope. A soldier stabbed His side with a spear and humiliate Him more. He only did good for others and they made Him suffer for it.
- Jesus dies on the cross. Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart and it did when Jesus died. The veil of the Temple tore in two, ending the old covenant of God’s Love and upon Jesus death it opened a New Covenant with God.
- Jesus is removed from the cross. Jesus suffering is over and the Apostles took Him down from the cross. They handle Jesus gently with reverence and love denied him before His death. Jesus’ mother and the Apostles wonder if it is too late for hope.
- Jesus is laid in a tomb. Joseph of Arimathea has Jesus buried in his nearby tomb. His body is prepared for burial, wrapped in clothes and sealed away. His followers walk away, weeping. Guards watch over the tomb. The long day is over and finally, all is quiet and calm. And this leads to the miracle of all miracles.
- Jesus arose from the dead. Jesus was laid in a tomb on Good Friday, a stone rolled in front of it, guards watched over the tomb night and day. Yet, on Easter Sunday in the morning, Jesus tomb was empty. Thank you, Jesus for dying for our sins.
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