Outdoor Stations of the Cross Resource for Congregations
by Suzanna Green, Christian Formation Committee chair, the Rev. Kendrah McDonald, and Kris Spilker
The Stations of the Cross, or Way of the Cross, is a liturgical devotion that began with early Christian pilgrims who traveled to Jerusalem to retrace the path Jesus is believed to have followed on Good Friday. Today, congregations will commemorate this pilgrim journey with prayer stations in their sanctuary or outside on their church grounds during Holy Week. Traditionally, each station will have an image or icon accompanied by a prayer and reflection related to the corresponding stop.
The diocesan Christian Formation Committee has released a ten-stop Stations of the Cross resource for congregations and families. Designed to help plan an outdoor, self-guided walk around your church grounds during Holy Week, it includes printable activity cards, prayers, and a supplies list. Interested congregations should choose where to locate each Station and mark them with signs, numbered flag stakes from a hardware store, or other markers. Then, assemble Stations of the Cross Kits with an activity card set, readings, prayers, and the supplies needed to complete each station. Kits can be distributed to families after Sunday services or stored in a dedicated pick-up station outside the church, where anyone can easily access them. Kits can be given to families or returned for sanitization and repeated use.
For more information about this activity contact Suzanna F. Green, at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Rev. Kendrah McDonald, at email@example.com, or Kris Spilker, at firstname.lastname@example.org. This Holy Week activity is based on St. Luke's, San Antonio's 2020 at-home Stations of the Cross Family Scavenger Hunt.
Stations of the Cross Activity Overview
Provide sanitizer spray or wipes at each station with shared items.
- Jesus is Condemned to Die - Wash your hands, using hand sanitizer.
- Jesus Accepts the Cross - Take out the small cross from the kit or make a cross with sticks and twine, or other materials provided (popsicle sticks, duct tape, etc). Family members will take turns carrying the cross to the rest of the stations.
- Jesus Meets his Mother - Take turns giving each other a blessing. Use the little bottle of oil provided and make the sign of the cross on foreheads or hands, saying one of the following: “Jesus loves you and so do I," “The Lord bless and keep you,” or “You are a beloved child of God.”
- Simon Carries the Cross - Take turns picking up the heavy object provided at this station and see who can carry it the farthest.
- A Woman Wipes Jesus' Face - Use the wipes provided to wash one another’s hands or feet.
- Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem - Take a small notecard out of the box to write a note to someone you love.
- Jesus Falls Three Times - Take turns walking up a hill or stairs and see who can climb them the most times. Pantomime falling on the ground as dramatically as you can.
- Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross - Use the provided toy hammer to hammer into the object. Listen to the sound you make.
- Jesus Dies on the Cross - Light the provided, battery-operated candle. Take a moment to appreciate its light. Extinguish the candle and read the next reading.
- Jesus Is Laid in a Tomb - Write a prayer on the piece of fabric. Tie it to the cross symbolizing giving it over to God.
Items Included in Stations of the Cross Kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Twine or a small cross
- Small travel bottle and olive oil
- Wet wipes
- Small notecards
- Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
- Battery-operated candle
- Piece of fabric
- One set of Activity/Prayer Cards
- Box/Bag to store the items