Good Friday

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
Use this abbreviated guide to find the stations of the cross “written into nature” in your own yard and neighborhood. As we look toward making the journey of Holy Week on our own apart from our church community this year, we can be reminded of the solitude Jesus faced in his own journey toward the cross. We can find the shape of his moments of suffering and consolation on Good Friday written into the world around us.
Note for those doing this with children: Each station has a sentence from scripture, a wondering question, and an activity. It can feel odd and difficult to talk about such heavy, morbid topics with kids. But doing the stations of the cross teaches kids that our faith is big enough to hold the saddest and most difficult parts of life. Every child will encounter death, suffering, bullying, and grief, even though we try to protect them from it. These stations will help kids to know that Jesus experienced what they have—and is with them in those times, too. Thank you to The Rev. Mia Kano St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Wellesley, MA for creating this walk. The Rev. Rebecca Kirkpatrick went on her own walk along the Snohomish River (pictured) and encourages you to do the same as you journey through Holy Week.

Find the stations in your yard or neighborhood!

  1. Jesus is condemned to death – find a spout or flowing water
  2. Jesus picks up his cross – find a heavy log or rock
  3. Jesus falls with the cross – find a quiet place to sit
  4. Jesus meets his mother – find a flower
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross – find a tree that’s leaning against another tree
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus – find a tree or rock that’s stained
  7. Jesus is stripped of his garments – find a tree whose bark is stripped
  8. Jesus dies on the cross – find a stump or fallen tree
  9. Jesus is laid in the tomb – find a large stone
    Mark each station with a piece of red yarn so that you can find each as you pray along it. Trust that God will reveal each station to you when you need them.

1. Jesus is condemned to die

We tell the story:
After Jesus rode into Jerusalem treated like a king, Jesus’ jealous enemies pressured the Roman leader of Jerusalem, Pilate, to sentence Jesus to death on the cross. Even though Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, Pilate did what they demanded. He washed his hands to show that he did not feel responsible for what he did.

We read:
“So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing..he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ – Matthew 27: 23-24

We look and remember:
To remember Pilate washing his hands, find a spout or flowing water.

We do and remember:
To remember Pilate washing his hands, do the washing your hands action.

2. Jesus picks up his cross

We tell the story:
Jesus’ punishment was to be nailed on a cross, the very worst death that his enemies could imagine for him. But first, Jesus had to carry his cross outside the city, where he
was to be raised up. The cross was very heavy and hard to carry.

We read:
“So they took Jesus; and
carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.” -John 19:16-17

We look and remember:
To remember Jesus picking up his cross, find a heavy log.

We do and remember:
With the help of an adult, try to pick up the heaviest thing you can find.

3. Jesus falls with the cross

We tell the story:
But Jesus wasn’t alone. There were three special people who were there to help Jesus and be with him in his pain. The first person Jesus met was his mother, Mary, who loved him just as much as your parents love you. She knew he was very special because of what the angel had told her. She also knew that his life would be difficult.

We read:
Then Simeon…said to his mother Mary,‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed- and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ -Luke 8:33-35

We look and remember:
To remember Jesus falling
with the cross, we find a place to sit and rest.

We do and remember:
Sit in silence.

4. Jesus meets his mother

We tell the story:
The cross was so hard and so heavy that even Jesus fell down when he was carrying the cross and walking to the Place of the Skull. He didn’t just fall once, he fell three times. But Jesus didn’t give up, because he knew what he had to do – and he knew the end of the story: Easter Sunday.

We read:
“Upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” -Isaiah 53:5

We look and remember:
To remember Jesus’ mother, we find a
flower.

We do and remember:
Give your mom or dad a hug!

5 & 6. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross and Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We tell the story:
Jesus met two friends along the way who helped him. Simon helped Jesus to carry the cross and Veronica wiped the sweat from his face.

We read:
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

We look and remember:
To remember Simon, we find a tree leaning against another tree. To remember Veronica, we find a stained tree or rock.

We do and remember:
Ask someone how you can help them today.

7. Jesus is stripped of his garments

We tell the story:
Before Jesus died, the people in charge pushed him around and made fun of him. They took all his clothes, and they made him wear a crown made out of thorns that hurt his head. They were hurting his body, but they also wanted to make him feel bad about himself.

We read:
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head…they spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. -Matthew 27:5-34

We look and remember:
To remember Jesus being stripped, we find a tree whose bark is stripped.

We do and remember:
The best thing we can do to get rid of hate is to cover it up with love. Put your hands of love on the bare part of the tree.

8. Jesus dies on the cross

We tell the story:
Jesus died on the cross. Jesus gave over his spirit and life to God.

We read:
Jesus said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:30

We look and remember:
To remember Jesus’ death on the cross, we
find a stump or fallen tree.

We do and remember:
We put things on the altar to show that we’re giving them back to God. Lay small stones or leaves on the stump to give all your feelings about Jesus’ death back to God.

9. Jesus laid in the tomb

We tell the story:
Jesus’ friends were very sad. They took good care of his body. They washed it and wrapped it in spices that smelled good. They went away in grief, but God had a surprise for them on Easter.

We read:
So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. -John 19:30

We look and remember:
To remember Jesus laid in the tomb, we find a large stone.

We do and remember:
Head home and wait for Easter to come!