1. Jesus is condemned to death
As we think about Jesus being condemned to death, we remember that Jesus once said:
“God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son to save it.” John 3:16
Prayer: Almighty God, whose most dear Son gave up the joy and glory he deserved in order to suffer pain and be crucified, mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find that it is the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
II. Jesus bears his cross
As we think about Jesus carrying his cross, we remember that he once said to us:
“If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily.”
Prayer: Almighty God, whose beloved Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption; give us courage to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns forever. Amen.
III. Jesus falls the first time
The Bible says about Jesus:
“The Lord laid on him the guilt of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
IV. Jesus meets his mother
The Bible says of Jesus:
“Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether
there is any suffering like my suffering.” Lamentations 1:12
Prayer: O God, who willed that in the passion of your Son a sword of grief should pierce the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary his mother; Mercifully grant that your Church, having shared with her in his passion, may be made worthy to share in the joys of his resurrection; who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
V. Jesus is helped by Simon
Jesus once said:
“As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did it for me.” Matthew 25:40
Prayer: Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience and courage they may minister in his Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
VI. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
When we look at Jesus, we remember that he once said:
“He who sees me, sees also my Father.” John 14:9
Prayer: O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain; Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
VII. Jesus falls a second time
Jesus once said to us:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Prayer: O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: grant us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
VIII. Jesus speaks to the women
Jesus said to the women:
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Luke 23:2
Prayer: Teach your church, O Lord, to mourn the sins of which it is guilty, and to repent and forsake them; that, by your pardoning grace, the results of our iniquities may not be visited upon our children and our children’s children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
IX. Jesus falls a third time
Jesus knew it was important to be humble, that’s why he once said: “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:11
Prayer: O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
X. Jesus is stripped of his garments
Jesus once said:
“Every one of you who does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33
Prayer: Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
XI. Jesus is nailed to the cross
When we think of Jesus obeying God, we remember his words:
“I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your loving arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace; So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your name. Amen.
XII. Jesus dies on the cross
The Bible says of Jesus:
“He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on the cross. Therefore God has exalted him.” Philippians 2:8-9
Prayer: O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.
XIII. Jesus is taken down from the cross
Jesus once said:
“Did not the Christ have to suffer these things before entering into his glory?” Luke 24:26
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death; Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.
XIV. Jesus is placed in the tomb
We remember that Jesus once said:
“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.” John 12:24-25
Prayer: O God, your blessed Son was laid in a tomb in a garden, and rested on the Sabbath day; Grant that we who have been buried with him in the waters of baptism may find our perfect rest in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
The framed prints depicting 14 events on our Lord’s way to Golgatha, his crucifixion, and the deposing and entombment of his body, are the work of Nigerian artist Bruce Onobrakpeya. He was 37 years old when, in October 1969, he produced 50 sets of these colored linoleum block prints, each print made on a different type of Japanese paper. For the scenes, Mr. Onobrakpeya adapted the studies he had done for 14 large oils of the Stations of the Cross that he had completed in the mid-1960s for the Cathedral of St. Paul (Roman Catholic) in the Ebute-Metta section of Lagos, Nigeria’s capital city. Both in those oil paintings and in the linoleum block prints, the people wear Nigerian dress.
Our St. Paul’s acquired the 7th set of these prints in 1971 from John and Ruth Jellich. John, a Foreign Service officer of the U.S. Department of State, had bought the prints when he and his family were living in Lagos. When the Jellichs returned to Northern Virginia that summer, they worshiped at St. Paul’s—as they had done during earlier furloughs—and decided to give the prints to the congregation when John left the area to take a new post in Turkey. The prints have been hung on the sanctuary walls every Lent since 1972.
Now aged 89 and still active, Bruce Onomakpeya has lived to see many of his works exhibited in museums around the world. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art (on the Mall) has 18 of his works in its permanent collection.
Original written by JK, 03.09.2014; updated by JK, 03.03.2022