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Stations of the Cross. A prayer journey for Holy Week.

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of the


A prayer journey for Holy Week


Centuries ago, Christians pilgrims journeyed to Jerusalem to remember the events of Christ\'s betrayal, arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Because few could journey to the Holy Land, the practice developed of setting up stations in the church representing significant stops on Christ\'s journey to the cross. Christians would walk and pray through the stations as a spiritual exercise.

  • During Holy Week, Belmont United Methodist church transforms its sanctuary with visual images representing 14 Stations of the Cross. Reflecting on the scripture, Belmont Sunday School classes have created artistic visuals representing each station. The stations, displayed in the windowsills around the sanctuary, are most like an inspired installation, with the journey to the cross recreated with contemporary and cultural themes.
  • The sanctuary is open for walking the stations and quiet meditation on Sunday April 5th following the 10:30 a.m. worship service, Monday through Thursday from 1:00pm to 7:00pm, and on Good Friday from 7:30 am to 12:00 noon, prior to the Good Friday Service.
  • If you are unable to attend in person, please take an opportunity to pray the stations with the meditations and photographs of the stations available to you in this powerpoint slideshow. Blessings on you this Holy Week.

Welcome to Belmont UMC

Palm Sunday Altar


Station 1: Jesus Prays Alone

  • Jesus went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)
  • What is in your cup?
  • "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me;
  • yet, not my will but yours be done.“
  • Jesus knelt down and prayed in secret on the Mount of Olives. In this text we get to eavesdrop on Jesus knowing where the road of being fully God\'s was leading him, and being open in prayer to the God who is at work here and now.  His prayer reveals to us the importance of being totally and brutally honest with God in prayer, as we open ourselves to God’s creative work in our daily lives here on earth. 
    • How is God calling you to participate in God\'s creative and re-creative movement by offering love, justice, mercy, truth and/or hope to the world? 
    • Do you feel comfortable opening yourself up, being totally and brutally honest with God in prayer about your thoughts and feelings regarding what is in your cup?
    • Are you up for whatever God has in mind, no matter where God is leading you?
  • 11th and 12th Grade Youth Sunday School Class(no photo available)

Station 2: Jesus is Arrested

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.’

At once he came up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you are here to do.’

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?’

At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

(Matthew 26:47-56)


When the crowd, armed with swords and clubs arrives to arrest Jesus, Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Jesus greets his betrayer with the name "Friend," accepting both his betrayal and his betrayer in love, even as he earlier accepted his imminent suffering and death as his Father\'s will.

    • How do we respond to those whom we see as betraying or opposing us—
    • at home, at school, at work, in our community, or even in our own church family?
    • Do we see them as "friends" beloved of God as Jesus did?
    • Are we like the disciples present at Jesus\' arrest, willing to fight, to respond
  • with violence and anger but not with love and forgiveness?
    • Is our faith strong enough to enable us to respond with non-violence
  • when we see ourselves attacked or betrayed?
    • Are we reluctant and fearful disciples,
    • fleeing from the life to which Jesus is calling us?
    • Is there someone we need to befriend today?
  • Simplicity

Station 3: Sanhedrin Tries Jesus

  • But Jesus was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death. (Mark 14:61-64)
  • Are You the Christ?
  • In 2007, the free-access websiteFacebook came on to the scene and allowed people worldwide to connect and interact with other people. Users of the website create personal profiles, describing and revealing themselves in words and pictures, then invite individuals to become their ‘friends’ online. We are so willing to put ourselves ‘out there’ online, but at the same time it’s become increasingly questionable if the information we receive (or provide) is credible, or in fact, if the people we ‘meet’ even exist.
        • How do we know what to believe…who to believe?
      • Do we require proof?
      • Do we believe because we were taught to believe or because our hearts are led to believe?
      • Jesus…how do we know you’re who you say you are?
  • Aldersgate

Station 4: Pilate Tries Jesus

  • Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the religious authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from the world.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-37)
  • Jesus gave an account of the nature of his kingdom: its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; Its riches are spiritual, its power is spiritual, and its glory is within.
  • When Jesus said, “I am the Truth” what he was saying to those who could hear was,
  • “I am a King.” Jesus conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the
  • commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are True.
      • What do I know to be true?
      • What truths do I follow?
      • What worldly truths do I hold dear?
      • Do I listen to Jesus as I profess my truths?
  • Kairos

Am I truthful

to myself?


Station 5: Pilate Sentences Jesus

    • Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’ They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:6-15)
        • Have you ever accused someone of wrong or picked on them just to
        • please the crowd or group you were with? How did you feel?
        • Have you ever been accused or picked on, but the power of the crowd
        • was too strong to fight? How did you feel?
        • Have you ever stood by and watched as someone else was hurt
      • and said nothing to defend them? Why?
        • Would you go against the crowd for someone you love,
      • even it that means putting yourself in their place?
    • Portico

Station 6: Jesus Wears the Crown

  • So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.
  • Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ (John 19:5)
  • How would you feel if you were the one who put the crown of thorns on Jesus\' head? The person that put on the crown could have been any of us.
    • Who would we have been in that situation? Pilate?
    • Who are you today?
    • Do you deny Jesus by mocking him?
    • Plate\'s men put him in royal purple to mock him. Do you think that
    • all of the men wanted to do that to Jesus? Were some scared to do that?
    • What would you have done?
  • Confirmation class

Station 7: Jesus carries His Cross

  • For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’ (John 10:17-18)
  • Jesus chose to carry his cross. 
  • He was not forced.
  • He was not a puppet with the strings pulled by God.
  • In his humanity, Jesus exercised human free will. He could have escaped from those sent to arrest him but he chose to wait for them. He picked up the cross when it meant he had to lay down his life. He did it for us. 
  • When we choose to follow Christ and his teachings, carrying a cross could be in our future.  We also exercise our free will.
  • Seekers




Station 8: Simon Carries the Cross

  • As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
  • Everyone has experienced some sort of agony or burden - a cross to bear. It might be the agony of physical illness, persecution, hunger, homelessness, loneliness, sorrow or depression.
  • Whatever our cross, the one we are compelled to carry, becomes so much lighter when we identify our suffering with the suffering of Christ.
    • Are you willing to share the burden of another person’s cross?
    • Is this freely, or are you compelled?
    • Are you willing to share the burden of your own cross with
    • someone else?
    • Are you ready to take up your own cross and follow Jesus?
  • Graham Inquirers

Station 9: Jesus Speaks to the Women

    • A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, 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 this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’ (Luke 23:27-31)
    • In the midst of this passion journey, Christ speaks to the mourning women.
    • "Do not weep for me; Weep for yourselves and for your children."
    • Jesus saw into the souls of the women who were grieving for him.
    • Jesus saw into their soul and into their future.
    • Jesus saw women weeping:
    • Weeping for young daughters who are raped
    • Weeping for sons forced to take up arms in a war that is not theirs
    • Weeping for their disrupted homes, their own bruises and broken bones
    • Weeping because they are not heard
    • Weeping because while they try fiercely to protect their children, they often fail
    • Christ still hears them weeping.
          • Do you hear the women weeping?
          • What will you do when you hear their cries?
    • Worship committee

Station 10: Jesus is Crucified

  • When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.
  • Then Jesus said,
  • ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’
  • And they cast lots to divide his clothing.
  • (Luke 23:33-34)
  • Jesus asked forgiveness for the men who crucified him. 
    • Can I forgive someone who has wronged me or someone I love? 
    • Have I wronged someone, whether a stranger or a friend,
    • and do I need to request forgiveness from that person? 
    • Am I willing to be a model of forgiveness and reconciliation
    • for those who watch me every day?
  • Young Adult

Choose a pebble from the water

Reflect on forgiveness

Replace the peeble back in the reflecting water


Station 11: Criminals Speak to Jesus

  • One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
  • (Luke 23:39-43)
  • The leaders of Jerusalem mocked Christ as they called for his death verdict. The crown of thorn, the purple robe, the slurs. The crowds followed suit, thronging around to see the condemned and to condemn. The soldiers took their cue from their superiors and were buoyed on by the crowd, and taunted Christ to save himself, so that at the end, even the criminal hanging next to Christ hurled insults.
  • In order to commit crimes against humanity, history shows us it only takes one leader. One leader to convince us that the "others" do not deserve, that something is "wrong" with the "others." One leader to persuade us in such a way that we join in and dehumanize entire populations. We then are buoyed on by the wave of hate.
  • In this passage, one of the criminals joins in the mocking of Christ, joins the leaders, the crowds, the soldiers. The other criminal sees something different. His eyes focus on Christ, not the crowd and the soldiers. He looks at Christ, and finds his way to Paradise.
    • When "others" are degraded, do you hold yourself accountable
    • so that you do not join in the wave of dehumanization?
    • Do you focus your eyes in the right direction?
  • Friendship

Station 12: Jesus speaks to Mary and John

    • Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:25b-27)
    • How perfectly natural for Jesus to be concerned for those he was leaving - his mother, his disciple. This is one of the last things that all humans do before dying. We want to be sure our loved ones are cared for.
      • What would be your "last thing?" For whom would you be concerned?
      • Have you expanded your family to include those other than "blood" relatives?
      • Do you reach out to those who need God’s family—
        • the mother without a child in a nursing home, even close to Belmont,
        • the child without a mother in group homes throughout the city,
        • in our schools, right here in this church.
    • Reaching out, in life, in death, Jesus teaches us compassionately to care for each other and that we are all family bound together by the Spirit of God.
    • Pray that God will help you reach out and care for others. Pray for the compassion of Christ to show in your life.
    • Graham Inquirers

Station 13: Jesus Dies on the Cross

  • After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
  • (John 19:28-34)
  • We never fully know the meaning of the cross until we realize that our Lord\'s death was for us, personally. Charles Wesley put it eloquently in a hymn, "O Love divine, what has thou done!/ The immortal God hath died for me!"* We all need to realize the personal power of the cross in our lives.
  • We all have burdens. On Ash Wednesday, the beginning of our Lenten season, our congregation wrote down their burdens and left then at the altar. Estranged families, addictions, difficult decisions, worries about children, worries about parents, worries about finances, worries about health and disease are the burdens that we share together.
  • Christ carries our burdens.
  • The cross before us at this station illustrates that Christ carries our burdens. Now enmeshed into the fabric of the cross are the burdens from Ash Wednesday.
  • You are invited to write down your burden on paper and place it at this cross. We will continue to craft this cross, and absorb your burdens in this design, as Christ absorbs
  • your burdens.
  • Worship Committee
  • *Excerpt from The Wesley Study Bible, © 2008 Abingdon Press.

Station 14: Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb

    • After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the religious authorities, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.
    • Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.
    • They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.
    • Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38-42)
    • All that was left was the linen cloth that had gingerly wrapped Jesus’ body whilst lying in the tomb.
    • It was, at first, a terrifying sight to the disciples, but the piles of cloth became the first sign of the resurrection.
    • According to John, after the crucifixion, Jesus’ body was taken down by Joseph then lovingly wrapped in spices and linen sheets by Nicodemus. The process of wrapping the body with cloth, then the emergence from the cloth is the physical parallel to Jesus’ resurrection transformation. The image of the empty cloth leaves us in anticipation of our own chrysalis each Easter season.

The knitters of K1G2, Belmont’s knitting ministry, participate in an ancient ritual of clothmaking each week.

  • Our cloth sometimes comes in the form of a baby hat that is sent to General Hospital to adorn the head of a newborn.
  • Sometimes it is a scarf that drapes the neck of a man without a home.
  • And sometimes, the cloth we make is a shawl that will hold a person like an embrace in celebration or in sorrow.
  • Once made, the items are blessed through the laying of hands and are transformed. Through the intentional act of prayer – thanksgiving for the gift of knitting and the hands that worked diligently, praise for the Creator who endows us with creativity, and earnest yearning for divine healing for the recipient of the gift – the cloth becomes a conduit for God’s grace, peace, and love.
  • Oh, Lord, hear our prayer…
  • Thank you for the work of our hands
  • Which are your hands.
  • You made us, one stitch at a time
  • For this exact moment in time,
  • Each uniquely formed from your unlimited creativity
  • Each creatively endowed with different strengths.
  • Let this cloth be a warm embrace when worn
  • And when lying in a heap, as in the tomb,
  • A reminder of your forgiving grace. Amen.
  • Knit One, Give Two (K1,G2) Knitting Ministry