Put the prayers of the Stations of the Cross into words children can understand. (Ref 1)Talk about how stations are places where we wait to go somewhere else or meet people. The Stations of the Cross are places where we wait for Easter, meet Jesus and prepare ourselves for Heaven. Relate each station to something the child can understand. For example, the first station highlights Pilate judging Jesus. Talk to the child about a time when she was falsely accused.
The Stations of the Cross began in Medieval Europe when the crusades prevented pilgrims from traveling to the Holy Land and walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Each of the 14 stations highlights an experience in the last moments of Jesus from judgment through crucifixion and death. Today, Christians pray the Stations of the Cross during Lent, the six weeks before Easter. Christians remember the actions of Christ as they stop and pray at each of the 14 stations.
Talk about the stations at home. Drill 14 holes in a board. Light and place a candle in each hole. Turn off all other lights in a room. Talk about each station and ask your child to blow out one candle for each station. When your child blows out the last candle, talk about how Jesus, the light of the world. Light a candle Easter Morning to illustrate that Jesus brought light back into the world.
One way to get the entire school or church involved is to create live Stations of the Cross. Cast students to play a role in each station. Dress them in togas and garments of the period. Split participants into 14 groups, one group for each station. Place each scene or station far enough apart so the children must walk from one group to another. Provide actors with lines to explain what they are doing in each scene.
Decorate a sturdy box with pictures of Jesus and the Stations of the Cross and place an illustration for each station inside. Add an item for each station. Let the child to pass or hold onto the objects during prayer. For example, three adhesive bandages in the box numbered one, two and three; for each of the three times Jesus fell. Place a handkerchief in the box for the woman who wiped Jesus' face. Put a stone in the box for placing Jesus in the tomb.
- Bread on the Waters, Passionists Society: Stations of the Cross, Child and Their Families Walk With Jesus
- Catholic Culture: Candelabrum for Stations of the Cross
- Today's Catholic News: Stations of the Cross Bring Reflection to School Children on Christ's Passion
- Catholic Homeschool: Lenten Activities
- Our Catholic Faith: Stations of the Cross
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
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