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.” 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

File:Brooklyn Museum - The First Nail (Le premier clou) - James Tissot.jpg

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.

In Trouble and Turmoil, Be Our Peace

house standoff 1 guns drawn

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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This litany prayer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

Prayer for the Nation as the Election Approaches

Father of heavenly lights
we pray for our nation in the coming election.
As we choose our leaders
guide us by your commandments
and teach us not to put our trust
in mortal men who cannot save,
but to trust you alone
for every good and perfect gift.

Lord Jesus, you are the King of kings
and Lord of lords,
and you live and reign over all.
Bless your church
and move us to use the freedoms our nation grants us
to make your Gospel known in our land.

Spirit of life,
stir our faith in your holy Word so that,
even as we do what we can and as we seek to do your will,
we trust your promise that you are our Refuge and Fortress,
and that you alone can work all things
for the good of your holy people.

Gracious God, rule in our hearts alone—now and forever.

© 2012 Pastor Paul C. Stratman

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Prayer for the Nation as the Election Approaches by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“Father of heavenly lights… …every good and perfect gift” are references to James 1:17

“guide us by your commandments” is a reference to 2 John 1:6

“not to put our trust in mortal men who cannot save” is a reference to Psalm 146:3

“King of kings and Lord of lords” is a reference to Revelation 19:16

“Refuge and Fortress” is a reference to Psalm 46 and Psalm 91:2

“you alone can work all things for the good of your holy people” is a reference to Romans 8:28

“rule in our hearts” is a reference to Colossians 3:15

Terrorism

Lord almighty,
our ever-present help in trouble,
help us not to be afraid when we see people in an uproar,
trying to change the world with violence and terror.
Cool the heat of hatred,
and move people to peace
for the good of all.
Set our hearts at peace
with your peace that is ours in Jesus,
and with your promise to protect
and work all for good.
Move us to proclaim your peace to the troubled.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, © 2019
based on Psalm 46, Psalm 91, Romans 8:28.

A Prayer for Peace

Kenosha car dealership promoting Black Lives Matter goes ...

Lord Jesus Christ,
you told your disciples,
“My peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled,
and do not let it be afraid.”

Give us peace,
peace that surpasses all understanding,
peace and goodwill from you,
peace that guards our hearts and minds
and keeps them focused on you.

Move us
to be at peace,
to reflect your peace,
to maintain peace with everyone
as far as it depends on us.

Teach us
to reflect your love,
to not be overcome by evil,
but to overcome evil with good.

Stir our hearts
to be joyful in hope,
to endure trials patiently,
to persist in prayer
as we wait for you.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers, in response to the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, August 2020.


A Litany for Peace

George Floyd Riots in Los Angeles, CA | Entertane News

Good God,
gracious Father,
creator of us all,
have mercy on us.

O Jesus,
Son of God and Son of Man,
our brother,
have mercy on us.

True Spirit,
moving over us,
Lord and giver of life,
have mercy on us.

Look at our world, broken by sin.
Look at our hearts, broken in grief.
Look at our minds, shaken in confusion.
Have mercy on us.

Forgive our shortsightedness and open our eyes.
Forgive our hate and empower us to love.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Have mercy on us.

On those who are angry,
on those who are hurting,
on those who are weary,
on those who work for peace,
on those who protect and serve,
on those who suffer loss,
on those who are vulnerable,
have mercy, Lord.

Give wisdom to those who lead,
give patience to those who wait,
give healing to those who hurt.
Have mercy, Lord.

Father, from one man you made every nation of humanity,
you make the sun shine and the rain fall on the wicked and the good,
you so loved the world that you gave your only Son,
have mercy.

Jesus, you took on human flesh and became the brother of the human race,
you suffered great injustice to bear the sin of the world,
you are the tree of life whose leaves bring healing to the nations,
have mercy.

Holy Spirit, you moved the apostles to speak the languages of all nations,
you let your Word go out to all people,
you call and gather your church from all the world,
have mercy.

See our world and our nation.
Help the helpless,
strengthen the weak,
soften the hardened,
warm the loveless,
cool the angry,
cleanse our hearts.
Mercy!

Father and maker of all, you let this world stand because you are gracious. Work that same grace within us that we love because you first loved us, that we imitate you as your beloved children, and live our lives in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Jesus, Savior of all people and lover of all souls, show us what love is yet again by setting your selfless love before our eyes. You welcomed tax collectors and zealots, and taught them all the way of love. When you were dying you forgave those who didn’t know what they were doing. You gave your friends who deserted you your greeting of peace. Empower us to love, forgive, and give us your peace; Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Holy Spirit, you caused Scripture to be written that we might learn love that is the fulfillment of the law, and that we might know Jesus and follow him in love. You give the spark of faith and you fan faith into flame. Move us to put our faith and hope to work with an active love, that we listen before speaking, think before acting, and consider the needs of others before our own.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, written during the violence in early June, 2020

References to Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the beginning, middle and end reflect characteristics of traditional litanies, and this is being written near Trinity Sunday.

The opening phrases “Good God,” “O Jesus” take the exclamations people often make when hearing bad news and develop them into petitions.

The shortening of responses “have mercy on us,” “have mercy, Lord,” “have mercy,” and finally “Mercy!” are intended to show a growing weariness.