1 Jesus is condemned to die Like a tall tree I reach up into the sky And receive God’s power from above Like the sun emptying light into me. With outstretched arms I embrace the world Compassionately And see a wilderness Become an Eden Of flowers Before me. Amen
2 Jesus accepts the cross I face the cross. I see the arms of Jesus outstretched in love for me. I take up the cross and do the difficult jobs. I carry the burdens of others, but I know that Jesus carries me. Amen
3 Jesus falls for the first time When we fall Lord, help us to know that there is no falling beyond the boundaries of your presence and love. In our pain and vulnerability continue to come to us and help us to see you in the compassionate community that desires our healing, in the fellowship of Mary and Jesus Christ her son, our Lord. Amen
4 Jesus meets his mother Dear Lord Jesus, who can describe Mary’s sorrow as she comforts you on the way to the cross? This is the “sword that pierces” her heart. She will not hold you back. You have made your choice. Lord of the crossroads, help us to know; when to comfort our children, when to protect them, and when to let go. Amen
5 Simon of Cyrene carries the cross Lord Jesus Christ, Simon of Cyrene, an African pilgrim, helped to carry your cross through threatening soldiers. Help me, a child of Africa, not to be afraid. Let me hear when you call and let me take up the burdens of others to walk the road with them. Amen
6 Veronica wipes the face of Jesus Lord Jesus Christ, Let me respond freely With love and compassion Like Veronika, the woman Who came out of the crowd To wipe your perspiring face And carried away in her hand The image of your face. Let me also be a bearer of your image Outwardly in my actions And inwardly in my heart. Amen
7 Jesus falls a second time You will hold me and I will fall I, David, will shatter into a thousand pieces so small Lost through every garden I have been I will fall through the garden hose I will squeeze mud between my toes I will become the beggar at my gate and refuse the beggar food. The people I love I will learn to hate I will dig a grave for my friends I will take money from the dead thief’s hand I will lie with the liar and I will rise with the fowl See on my back a burden I carry It burns with the image of the rejection of you in my brother, my sister. I will fall and you will hold me, even in the abyss of Self. Amen
8 The women of Jerusalem Dear Lord Jesus, you fill our lives with activity, so that each day brings new explorations, and fills us with wonder and thanksgiving. When we become the patient and actions cease, be with us in the waiting and calm our fears. Let us sense your guidance and come to life in new and surprising ways. Amen
9 Jesus falls a third time Lord I am in the belly of the whale. Things are very dark now. There seems to be no way out and no way up. I wander blindly in this agonising deep, submerged in a sea of troubles. There is no energy or beauty or delight; only a dullness. I can only wait for you Lord. Spew me out with such a blast, send me streaming to the surface and spread me into a fountain of pleasure and response to dance in the light of the world.
10 Jesus is stripped Dear Lord Jesus Thank you for our health. Through our bodies, Eyes and ears, taste, touch and smell, We can enjoy your world. When we are ailing We receive your healing Through the love and care of others. Help us in turn To care for those who are in need of healing. Amen
11 Jesus is nailed to the cross Dear Lord Jesus, Your body shudders with pain As nails tear through flesh and bone. Pilate’s misguided powers pin you To a wooden cross of earth To stop the river of love in you, But you become a great baobab tree Spreading blessings into the heavens And drawing us into its cool shade To heal us with your love potion. We feel a new spring surging Through the wood of your cross. Amen
12 Jesus dies on the cross Dear Lord Jesus Amidst all your pain You still commend yourself Into the father’s care And so you die. Dying fills us with fear It challenges all that we believe. We spend years running from it. We struggle not to hand ourselves Over to its darkness. To rest in you is more than sleep, It is the final trust. When our time comes Give us a good death. Amen
13 Jesus is laid in a tomb
Dear Lord Jesus
Thank you for the men and women
Who received your body,
The body they loved;
That resonated your personality.
Now they will honour it
And give it a proper burial.
They will cherish your memory
And grow through their sadness.
Let us give due honour to those who die around us
And cherish the memory of them.
Let us be present for the dying.
14 The Coming of Light
There is a darkness
Descending upon the world.
But deep within a tomb,
A womb of earth,
A light glows with intensity,
It is the light of our salvation
Consuming the darkness;
The light of new birth
Of the new day.