Thanksgiving for Healing

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the great physician of body and soul.
We give you thanks and praise for your gifts of healing for __________.
Help him/her continue on the path of healing,
that he/she may rejoice in you,
continue in a life of love and service,
and let his/her light shine to bring glory to you;
you live and reign, now and forever.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, September 5, 2021

Guide Our Leaders, Comfort the Anxious, Lead People in Safety

Lord of the nations,
you remind us
that despite all our earthly might,
weapons and armies,
we are not in control of all things.
Guide the leaders of our nation
to make wise decisions,
for the good of our citizens
and others who are in danger.
Comfort those who are anxious,
and those who mourn.
Lead many out in safety.
Give your people inner peace
as the peace the world gives
is dashed to pieces.
Remind us of your everlasting kingdom,
when all wars and strife will be no more,
and your people will enjoy your perfect peace,
and you will wipe all tears from our eyes;
through your Son, our peace,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, reflecting on the strife in Afghanistan, August 27, 2021.

Wedding Dinner Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
we give you thanks and praise
for your great acts of love,
your passion
which overcame sin and death,
and your resurrection
which overcame the power of the grave,
all to make us your own
through your redeeming love.
Pour out your blessings on Katrina and Ethan
that nothing may quench their love
since it is empowered by your great love.
Bless us also,
our friendship, fellowship and conversation,
and bless the gifts we are about to receive
which you have given us for body and life;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, July 10, 2021, for the wedding of Katrina Stratman and Ethan Miller.

Prayer references the wedding text, Song of Songs 8:6-7.

Carry Your People through All Earthly Evils

Almighty and eternal God,
your Son Jesus Christ healed the sick,
and strengthened them in both in body and soul.
We pray, be gracious also to __________.
Assure him of your forgiveness of sins,
strengthen him by your grace
and carry him through all earthly evils
until you bring him to eternal safety;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, 2021, adapted from a prayer by Veit Dietrich for Epiphany 3.

Note: This prayer is written for those who are sick and suffering, and may be approaching end of life.

The Way of Light

The Way of Light or Stations of Easter is a counterpart to the Stations of the Cross with the focus on the events following Christ’s resurrection.

The versicle and response, “We adore you, O Christ,…” is from the traditional devotions for the Stations of the Cross, expanded for use in the Easter season.

The prayers that follow each scriptural devotion are newly written for A Collection of Prayers. Each begins “Risen Lord, draw us to you,” based on the verse from Song of Songs 1:4 and the favorite Ascension hymn “Draw us to thee.”

Except where noted otherwise, Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version, www.wartburgproject.org.

All art except for the fourteenth station is by James Tissot. Art for the fourteenth station is based on an engraving by Gustave Doré.

The readings, prayers and art are available as a downloadable pdf, printable as a booklet.

First station: Jesus Rises from the Dead

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, he rolled away the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead! And look, he is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see him.’ See, I have told you!” (Matthew 28:1–7)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Drive away our fears
with the good news of your resurrection,
and fill us with joy
as we tell others;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Second station: The Disciples Find the Tomb Empty

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she left and ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she told them, “and we don’t know where they put him!” So Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. Bending over, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was following him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there. The cloth that had been on Jesus’ head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was folded up in a separate place by itself. Then the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. (They still did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.) (John 20:1–9)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Open our minds and hearts
that we may understand the testimony of Scripture
that you have risen from the dead;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Third station: The Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Mary Magdalene stood outside facing the tomb, weeping. As she wept, she bent over, looking into the tomb. She saw two angels in white clothes sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. They asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She told them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.” After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you carried him off, tell me where you laid him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and replied in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means, “Teacher”). Jesus told her, “Do not continue to cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father—to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” She also told them the things he said to her. (John 20:11–18)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Dry our tears,
call us by name,
and lead us to heaven
where we may always cling to you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fourth station: The Risen Lord Appears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Now, on that same day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about all of these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing this, Jesus himself approached and began to walk along with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” Saddened, they stopped. One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked them. They replied, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be condemned to death. And they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel. Not only that, but besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Also some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning. When they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb. They found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.” He said to them, “How foolish you are and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:13–27)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Drive out all foolishness,
and open our hearts to believe
all the Scriptures have spoken about you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fifth station: The Risen Lord Is Recognized at the Breaking of Bread

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

As they approached the village where they were going, he acted as if he were going to travel farther. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, since it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he reclined at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and began giving it to them. Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Then he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking to us along the road and while he was explaining the Scriptures to us?” They got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those who were with them assembled together. They were saying, “The Lord really has been raised! He has appeared to Simon.” They themselves described what had happened along the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread. (Luke 24:28–35)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Stay with us
and bless us with your gracious presence
that our hearts may burn within us,
that we may recognize you
in Word and Sacrament;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Sixth station: The Risen Lord Appears to His Disciples

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were terrified and frightened and thought they were looking at a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they still did not believe it (because of their joy), and while they were still wondering, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb. He took it and ate in front of them. (Luke 24:36–43)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Give us your peace.
Drive away all doubts.
and fill our hearts with joy;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Seventh station: The Lord Gives the Power to Forgive Sins

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:19–23)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
As you have given us your peace,
make us agents of your peace.
As you have forgiven us our sins,
move us to forgive those who have sinned against us;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Eighth station: The Lord Confirms the Faith of Thomas

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24–29)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Give us faith in the word of your gospel
that we may believe without seeing,
and confess you as our Lord and our God;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Ninth station: The Risen Lord Meets His Disciples on the Shore of Lake Tiberias

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

After this, Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. This is how he showed himself: Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We’ll go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. Jesus called to them, “Boys, don’t you have any fish?” “No!” they answered. He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” So they cast the net out. Then they were not able to haul it in because of the large number of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard, “It is the Lord!” he tied his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about one hundred yards. When they stepped out on land, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153 of them. Yet even with so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, eat breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them, and also the fish. (John 21:1–13)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
As you surprised your disciples by appearing to them,
and by giving them a large catch of fish,
fill us with wonder by your constant presence,
and with your many blessings;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Tenth station: The Risen Lord Restores Peter

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I care about you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time Jesus asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I care about you.” Jesus told him, “Be a shepherd for my sheep.” He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you care about me?” Peter was grieved because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you care about me?” He answered, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I care about you.” “Feed my sheep,” Jesus said. (John 21:15–17)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
We are like sheep that have gone astray.
Gather us, restore us,
and empower us with your love and forgiveness,
that we may feed your lambs and sheep;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Eleventh station: The Risen Lord Entrusts to His Disciples the Mission to the World

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some hesitated because they were uncertain. Jesus approached and spoke to them saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to keep all the instructions I have given you. And surely I am with you always until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16–20)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
All authority in heaven and earth is yours.
When we hesitate
to speak your Word or do your work
because of doubt and fear,
remind us that you are with us always,
and give us authority and power through your Word;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Twelfth station: The Risen Lord Ascends to the Father

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

So when they were together with him, they asked, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said these things, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. They were looking intently into the sky as he went away. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6–11)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Let your kingdom come
through us to the world
as we live as your witnesses
until you come again;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Thirteenth station: Waiting for the Holy Spirit

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John were there, also James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. All of them kept praying together with one mind, along with the women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:12–14)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Unite us, your church,
that we may pray together with one mind,
to hallow your name, advance your kingdom,
and do your will;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fourteenth station: The Risen Lord Sends the Holy Spirit Promised to the Disciples

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the rushing of a violent wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw divided tongues that were like fire resting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, since the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak fluently. Now there were godly Jewish men from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When this sound was heard, a crowd came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were completely baffled and said to each other, “Look, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, and of Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own languages the wonderful works of God.” They were all amazed and perplexed. They kept saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocked them and said, “They are full of new wine.” (Acts 2:1–13)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Send your Spirit to open our lips
that we may declare
the wonderful works of God;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version

Prayers are written for A Collection of Prayers, © 2021 Paul C. Stratman

Art is by James Tissot from his Gospel Harmony Series.

Art for the Fourteenth Station is colorized from an etching by Gustave Dore.

See also:

Scriptural Way of the Cross

The Scriptural Way of the Cross or Scriptural Stations of the Cross is a modern version of the ancient Christian devotion called the Stations of the Cross.

The versicle and response, “We adore you, O Christ,…” is from the traditional devotions for the Stations of the Cross.

The prayers that follow each scriptural devotion are newly written for A Collection of Prayers, based on the traditional response for after each devotion, “Lord Jesus, help us walk in your steps.”

Except where noted otherwise, Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version, www.wartburgproject.org.

All art is by James Tissot.

The readings, prayers and art are available as a downlodable pdf, printable as a booklet.

First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

File:Brooklyn Museum - You Could Not Watch One Hour With Me (Vous n'avez pu veiller une heure avec moi) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. He told his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and he began to be sorrowful and distressed. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to the point of death. Stay here, and keep watch with me.” He went a little farther, fell on his face, and prayed. He said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “So, were you not able to stay awake with me for one hour? Watch and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:36–41

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
Keep our spirits willing,
and strengthen us when our flesh is weak;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Second Station: Jesus is Betrayed by Judas and Arrested

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Guards Falling Backwards (Les gardes tombant à la renverse) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Just then, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. A crowd was with him, armed with swords and clubs. They were from the chief priests, the experts in the law, and the elders. Now his betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “The one I kiss is the man. Arrest him and lead him away under guard.” He went right to Jesus and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. They laid hands on him and arrested him. Mark 14:43–46

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
even when we must go where we do not want to go;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Morning Judgment (Le jugement du matin) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

As soon as it was day, the council of the elders of the people met together, both the chief priests and experts in the law. They brought him into their Sanhedrin and said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer me or release me. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all said, “Are you then the Son of God?” He said to them, “I am what you are saying.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? For we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth!”  Luke 22: 66-71

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
that we always confess you as Christ our Lord,
Son of Man and Son of God;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came to him and said, “You were also with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” When Peter went out to the entryway, someone else saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again Peter denied it with an oath and said, “I do not know the man.” After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them because even your accent gives you away.” Then he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man!” Just then the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.  Matthew 26: 69-75

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
that we always remember the words you have spoken,
repent of our sins,
and cling to you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pontius Pilate

File:Brooklyn Museum - Jesus Before Pilate Second Interview (Jésus devant Pilate. Deuxième entretien) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests, along with the elders, the experts in the law, and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “It is as you say.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate questioned him again, “Are you not going to answer anything? See how many charges they are bringing against you!” But Jesus still did not answer anything, so Pilate was amazed. Since he wanted to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. After he had Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified. Mark 15: 1-5, 15

Lord Jesus, we cannot always follow in your steps,
for you went to the depths of suffering alone,
so that like Barabbas, we would be set free;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar and Crowned with Thorns

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Scourging on the Front (La flagellation de face) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns and placed it on his head. Then they threw a purple robe around him. They kept coming to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they kept hitting him in the face.  John 19:1-3

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
Rule in our hearts,
as our good and gracious King;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross

File:Brooklyn Museum - Jesus Bearing the Cross (Jésus chargé de la Croix) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

When the chief priests and guards saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate told them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no basis for a charge against him.” They shouted, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?” “We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered. So then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying his own cross, he went out to what is called the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.  John 19: 6, 15-17

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
We have no king but you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon of Cyrene to Carry the Cross

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A certain man, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), was passing by on his way in from the country. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. Mark 15:21

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
Help us bear our crosses,
for you bore the heaviest cross for us;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Daughters of Jerusalem (Les filles de Jérusalem) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A large crowd of people was following him, including women who were mourning and wailing for him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Be sure of this: The days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never gave birth, 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 these things to the green wood, what will happen to the dry?” Luke 23:27-31

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
Dry our tears,
until that day
when you wipe away every tear from our eyes;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified

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We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” They cast lots to divide his garments among them. Luke 23:33-34

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
that we forgive those who have sinned against us,
because you have freely forgiven us;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises Paradise to the Repentant Thief

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

One of the criminals hanging there was blaspheming him, saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same condemnation? We are punished justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” Jesus said to him, “Amen I tell you: Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
that by your grace
we, too, may join you in your kingdom of Paradise
when our last hour comes;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Beloved Disciple

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Death of Jesus (La mort de Jésus) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene were standing near the cross. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother!” And from that time this disciple took her into his own home. John 19:25-27

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
Give us the blessed comfort of friends and family,
and always keep us near you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Sorrowful Mother (Mater Dolorosa) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun was darkened. Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
for by your innocent suffering and death,
you have opened up the way to the Father for us;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Holy Virgin Kisses the Face of Jesus Before He is Enshrouded on the Anointing Stone - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. He rolled a large stone over the tomb’s entrance and left. Matthew 27:57-60

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps,
for you have gone where we must all go,
to death and the grave,
all so you could rise again;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fifteenth Station: Jesus Rises from the Dead

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Resurrection (La Résurrection) - James Tissot.jpg

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, he rolled away the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead! And look, he is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see him.’ See, I have told you!” They hurried away from the tomb, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They approached, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go, tell my brothers that they should go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” Matthew 28:1-10

Lord Jesus, help us follow in your steps.
Raise us up on the Last Day,
that we may follow you from death to life;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version

Prayers are written for A Collection of Prayers, © 2021 Paul C. Stratman

Art is by James Tissot from his Gospel Harmony Series.

See also: Scriptural Way of the Cross on Wikipedia, and an article on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

See also:

In Trouble and Turmoil, Be Our Peace

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Lord of the nations,
God in whom we trust,
you alone are holy,
good, wise,
and the source of every blessing.

In trouble and turmoil,
be our peace.
In our hearts and minds
give us the peace that surpasses understanding.
In our mouths
put words of peace,
and make us peacemakers
that we may be called your children.

Let the truth of your Word
govern and guide us
when we are inclined
to be like Pontius Pilate
and say, “What is truth?”

When we are unsure of all things,
draw us to you,
our faithful God,
steadfast in love,
our rock, refuge and fortress.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, January 6, 2021.

Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save. Psalm 146:3

Christmas Day

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Glorious Father,
you have revealed your glory,
your grace and your truth
by sending your only Son
to become flesh and dwell among us.
Enlighten darkened hearts
with this true light
that shines on everyone,
that all might hear, believe, and receive
the right to become children of God;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Newly composed by Paul C. Stratman in Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, #16. ©  2019 Paul C. Stratman

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Christmas Eve

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O Lord,
you have filled this holy night
with the brightness of the true Light,
Jesus Christ.
You have revealed
your peace and goodwill through him
and have given us blessed hope.
Increase our joy
with that news that a child is born to us,
a Son is given to us;
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Opening phrase based on the historic collect for Christmas Eve, newly composed by Paul C. Stratman in Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, #15. ©  2019 Paul C. Stratman

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Litany of the Nativity

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Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

God, loving Father, you sent your one and only Son, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you are the Word who became flesh to save the world, have mercy.
Holy Spirit, you connect us to the love and power of God with your Word, have mercy.

Holy Trinity, splendor and majesty are yours.
Holy Trinity, glory and strength are yours.

Jesus,
promised seed of the woman,
our shield and great reward,
Bringer of peace,
One to whom the scepter belongs,
promised Prophet,
Son of David,
Immanuel,
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace, have mercy on us.

Jesus,
Shepherd of your people Israel,
from of old, from ancient times,
Word who became flesh,
Savior,
Lord’s anointed, have mercy on us.

Jesus,
because you were conceived by the Holy Spirit,
because you were born of the virgin Mary,
because you became flesh and made your dwelling among us,
because you became truly human, like us in every way, except without sin,
because you endured every hardship common to humanity,
because you suffered under Pontius Pilate,
because you were crucified,
because you suffered death as the wages of the world’s sin,
because you were buried, hear our prayer.

Jesus,
because you broke the gates of hell,
because you proclaimed your victory in Satan’s realm,
because you rose in glory,
because you recalled faithless disciples and restored their faith by saying “Peace,”
because you ascended on high,
because you intercede for us at your Father’s right hand, hear our prayer.

Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Lamb of God, grant us your peace.

To us a child is born.
To us a Son is given.

Lord Jesus Christ, Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing, give us your blessed hope as we hear again of your first coming. Fill our lives with the glory of your love, and empower us to live to your glory, for you are God’s gift of love, once wrapped in swaddling clothes, now wrapped in the pages of Scripture, no longer in a cattle stall or feeding trough, but living and reigning with your Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, dwelling in the highest glory, granting peace to your people, now and forever.
Amen.

Litany of the Nativity, © 2020 Paul C. Stratman, written for A Collection of Prayers, www.acollectionofprayers.com.

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