Prayers for the Stations,

PREPARATORY PRAYER. The priests and acolyths, kneeling before the altar, say as

follows : O Jesus, our adorable Saviour, behold us prostrate at thy feet, imploring thy mercy for ourselves, and for the souls of all the faithful departed. Vouchsafe to apply to us the infinite merits of thy passion, on which we are now about to meditate. Grant that while we trace this path of sighs and tears, our hearts may be so touched with contrition and repentance, that we may be ready to embrace with joy all the crosses and sufferings and humiliations of this our life and pilgrimage.

V. Domine, labia mea ape- V. Thou shalt open my lips, ries.

O Lord. R. Et os meum annuntia. R. And my mouth shall shew bit laudem tuam.

forth thy praise. V. Deus, in adjutorium V. O God, come to my asmeum intende.

sistance. R. Domine, ad adjuvan- R. O Lord, make haste to dum me festina.

help me. V. Gloria Patri, &c. V. Glory be, &c. R. Sicut erat.

R. As it was, &c. Then moving in procession to the first Station, the following

versicle and response are said or sung : V. Adoramus te, Christe, V. We adore thee, O Christ, et benedicimus tibi.

and we bless thee. R. Quia per sanctam cru. R. Because by thy Holy cem tuam redemisti mun- Cross thou hast redeemed the dum.

This versicle and response are repeated before each


First Station.

The priest reads : Leaving the house of Caiaphas, where he had been blasphemed, and the house of Herod, where he had been mocked, Jesus is dragged before Pilate, his back torn with scourges, his head crowned with thorns; and he, who on the last day will judge the living and the dead, is himself condemned to a disgraceful death.

It was for us that thou didst suffer, O blessed Jesus; it was for our sins thou wast condemned to die. O grant that we may detest them from the bottom of our hearts, and by this repentance obtain thy mercy and pardon.

An Act of Contrition. O God, we love thee with our whole hearts and above all things, and are heartily sorry that we have offended thee. May we never offend thee any more. Oh, may we love thee without ceasing, and make it our delight to do in all things thy most holy will.

Pater. Ave. Gloria.

Our Father. Hail Mary. And Glory be to the Father.

V. Lord have mercy upon


V. Miserere nostri, Do. mine.

R. Miserere nostri.

V. Fidelium animæ, per, &c.

R. Amen.

R. Have mercy upon us.

V. May the souls of the faithful, &c.

R. Amen.

This Act of Contrition to be repeated after each Station.

While passing from one Station to another, a verse of the

Stabat Mater is sung or said.

V. Stabat Mater dolorosa,

Juxta crucem lacrymosa,
Dum pendebat Filius.

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,

Close to Jesus to the last.

If many persons perform the Via Crucis, the priests, or one part of the people, may sing the verses in order, and the

rest of the people repeat after each verse : R. Sancta Mater, istud agas, Holy Mother! pierce me through; Crucifixi fige plagas

In my heart each wound renew
Cordi meo valide.

of my Saviour crucified.
Or this verse alone may be sung after each Station.

Second Station.

V. Adoramus te, &c. V. We adore thee, &c.
R. Quia per sanctam, &c. R. Because, &c.

Priest. A heavy cross is laid upon the bruised shoulders of Jesus. He receives it with meekness, nay, with a secret joy, for it is the instrument with which he is to redeem the world.

Prayer. O Jesus! grant us, by virtue of thy cross, to embrace with meekness and cheerful submission the difficulties of our state, and to be ever ready to take up our cross and follow thee.

Act of Contrition, &-c. as before. 1. Cujus animam gementem, Through her heart, his sorrowsharing,

Contristatam, et dolentem, All his bitter anguish bearing,
Pertransivit gladius.

Now at length the sword had pass'd. R. Sancta Mater, &c.

Holy Mother, &c.

Third Station.

V. Adoramus te, &c. V. We adore thee, &c.
R. Quia per, &c.

R. Because, &c.

Priest. Bowed down under the weight of the cross, Jesus slowly sets forth on the way to Calvary, amidst the mockeries and insults of the crowd. His agony in the garden has exhausted his body; he is sore with blows and wounds; his strength fails him; he falls to the ground under the cross.

Prayer. 0 Jesus! who for our sins didst bear the heavy burden of the cross, and fell under its weight, may the thoughts of thy sufferings make us watchful over ourselves, and save us from any grievous fall into sin.

Act of Contrition, fc. as before.
V. O quam tristis et afflicta Oh, how sad and sore distress'd
Fuit illa benedicta

Was that Mother highly blest
Mater unigeniti!

Of the sole-begotten one! R. Sancta Mater, &c.

Holy Mother, &c.

Fourth Station.
V. Adoramus te, &c. V. We adore thee, &c.
R. Quia per, &c. . R. Because, &c.

Priest. Still burdened with his cross, and wounded yet more by his fall, Jesus proceeds on his way. He is met by his Mother. What a meeting must that have been ! What a sword of anguish must have pierced that Mother's bosom! What must have been the compassion of that Son for his holy Mother!

Prayer. O Jesus! by the compassion which thou didst feel for thy Mother, have compassion on us, and give us a share in her intercession. O Mary, most afflicted Mother! intercede for us, that through the sufferings of thy Son we may be delivered from the wrath to come.

Act of Contrition, &c. as before..

Pater, Ave, &c. as before.
V. Quæ mærebat et dolebat ; Christ above in torment hangs;

Pia Mater, cum videbat She beneath beholds the pangs
Nati pænas inclyti.

Of her dying glorious Son.
R. Sancta Mater, &c.

Holy Mother, &c.

Fifth Station.
V. Adoramus te, &c. V. We adore thee, &c.
R. Quia per, &c.

R. Because, &c.

Priest. As the strength of Jesus fails, and he is unable to proceed, the executioners seize and compel Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross. The virtue of that cross changed his heart, and from a compulsory task it became a privilege and a joy.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus! may it be our privilege also to bear thy cross; may we glory in nothing else; by it may the world be crucified unto us, and we unto the world; may we never shrink from sufferings, but rather rejoice if we may be counted worthy to suffer for thy name's sake.

Act of Contrition, &c. as before.

Pater noster, &c. as before.

V. Quis est homo qui non fieret, Is there one who would not weep,

Matrem Christi si videret Whelm'd in miseries so deep
In tanto supplicio ?

Christ's dear Mother to behold ? R. Sancta Mater, &c.

Holy Mother, &c.

Sixth Station.
V. Adoramus te, &c. V. We adore thee, &c.
R. Quia per, &c.

R. Because, &c.

Priest. As Jesus proceeds on the way, covered with the sweat of death, a woman, moved with compassion, makes her way through the crowd, and wipes his face with a handkercbief. As a reward of her piety, the impression of his sacred countenance is miraculously imprinted upon the handkerchief.

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