Stations of the Resurrection

Stations of the Resurrection

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These Stations of the Resurrection for Eastertide, have come to us from the United Benefice of Kirkdale with Harome, Nunnington and Pockley in North Yorkshire. Many thanks to the Reverend Sue Binks for giving us permission to share this (and to Michael Ryan for passing them on)!

These Stations of the Resurrection continue our series on prayer: Lectio Divina, Ignatian and Celtic.

In your resurrection, O Christ, Let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia!

Some background to the Stations

Many Christians are familiar with the traditional Stations of the Cross as a devotion used customarily on Fridays and during Lent and Passiontide.

In the latter part of the twentieth century a complementary devotion emerged, possibly from the Iberian Peninsula, called the Stations of the Resurrection or the Stations of Joy – a Celebration of the Great Fifty Days of Eastertide.

As with the Stations of the Cross we move from station to station, reading an appropriate Bible passage and meditating on it. By using the Resurrection Appearances as a focus for reflection and meditation, we have an opportunity to appreciate the Easter mysteries of the resurrection of our Lord.

The Resurrection Appearances are more than just stories or history, they are a record of personal encounters with our risen Lord – and we can walk with our memories and imagination through our familiar churches and draw upon Minsters, Cathedrals and Churches where we have visited and shared worship and allow the journey to enable that encounter to happen today.

We pray

Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen

Nunnington, All Saints and St James Church Stations of the Resurrection
All Saints and St James Church, Nunnington

The ‘Alleluia’ which has been silent through Lent returns.

Now the queen of seasons, bright

With the day of splendour,

With the royal feast of feasts,

Comes its joy to render.

John of Damascus

Material is from Common Worship: Times and Seasons, copyright The Archbishops’ Council 2000

First Station: The Earthquake

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in him will never die. Alleluia.

St Gregory's Minster
In the Porch under the Sundial at St Gregory’s Minster, as we cross this ancient threshold, aware of the cloud of witnesses.
Reading –  Matthew 28:2-4

Suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and his clothing as white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.

Here we commemorate the earthquake as recorded in St Matthew’s Gospel. I recall the Miners’ Memorial in Durham Cathedral, with its book of remembrance, reminding us both of what the earth produces for our good and also of the dangers and sacrifices arising from our fractured planet. The Miner’s Lamp is a beacon of hope and a symbol of the spirit of local community. We pray that the risen light of Christ may shine throughout the world.

Tremble, O earth at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. Psalm 114:7

I recall the hymn: ‘Were you there?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble!

Were you there when they nailed him to the Tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when they rolled the stone away?

Prayer

We praise you and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of glory,

For in your resurrection the power of love breaks open the earth and frees life from death.

As the angel rolled away the stone from the prison of the tomb,

So, release those imprisoned by life’s misfortunes.

To you, Lord Jesus,

Whose life brings surprises beyond our wildest expectations,

Be honour and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Second Station: Mary Magdalene finds the empty tomb

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in him shall never die. Alleluia

Stations of the Resurrection
Reading – John 20:1-2

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So, she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.

The empty tomb was not proof of the resurrection, but rather a silent witness of the greatest event of our faith. Seeing the empty tomb, the disciples were motivated to seek the Risen Lord. They saw and believed in the continuing presence of the Lord of love. All the empty and lonely places of human life are were the Lord wishes to work and be revealed.

Prayer

We praise you and bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of Glory,

For the love which drew Mary Magdalene to your tomb to weep over your death

As you broke into her grief with your death shattering life,

So, reach into our broken hearts with your promise of hope.

To you, Lord Jesus,

Reaching into the deepest tombs of our despair,

Be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen

The Day of Resurrection!                  

Earth, tell it out abroad;

The Passover of gladness,

The Passover of God!

From death to life eternal,

From earth unto the sky,

Our Christ hath brought us over,

With hymns of victory.

St John of Damascus; translated John Mason Neale

Third Station: The disciples run to the empty tomb

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in him shall never die. Alleluia.

Mirfield
The Font at Mirfield
Reading – John 20:3-8

Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.

Let us go to The Font. Here we commemorate the discovery of the empty tomb according to the Gospel of St John. The Font is a symbol of Christ’s tomb and the place of new birth. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote in the fourth century,’ you made the confession that brings salvation, and submerged yourselves three times in the water and emerged: by this symbolic gesture you were secretly re-enacting the burial of Christ three days in the tomb…

In one and in the same action you died and you were born; the water of salvation became both tomb and mother for you. We pray for those recently baptised and confirmed and pray that we might walk in newness of life.

We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, that we may walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Prayer

We praise you and bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of glory,

For in you our God reveals the awesome power of love that is stronger even than death.

As in your dying you destroyed death,

So, in your rising may we be raised above the trials and torments of the world’s woe.

To you, Lord Jesus

The fullness of your life revealed in an empty tomb,

Be honour and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Fourth Station: The angel appears to the women

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in him shall never die. Alleluia.

Reading – Matthew 28:5-10

The angel said to the women, ‘do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘he has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him. This is my message for you.’ So, they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers; there they will see me.’

Imagine we are at the Easter Garden or perhaps in a Lady Chapel.

Galilee Chapel, Durham Cathedral Stations of the Resurrection
The Galilee Chapel, Durham Cathedral

The resurrection was first proclaimed to the faithful women companions of Jesus, who came with him to Jerusalem from Galilee. Here we recall the joy of those who first saw the Risen Christ. We rejoice in the new creation inaugurated through the Resurrection and pray that all human beings might find and celebrate their true dignity.

During the Easter season, when the readings focus on the origins of the church, the story of our beginnings is expanded to recognise the many women leaders of the early church – Phoebe, Prisca, Chloe, Nympha, Mary, Junia, Tryphena and Tryphosa. The music of their names, all that survives of their stories, invites us to listen harder for their message of resurrection and not to dismiss these stories, however brief.

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord.’ John 20:18

Prayer

We praise you and we bless you, our Risen Lord Jesus, King of Glory,

For your simple word of greeting made the hearts of the women leap with joy.

Speak your word of love to those whose hearts are broken,

So that they too may hear your loving, beckoning call.

To you, Lord Jesus,

Whose call summons us to life in all its fullness,

Be honour and glory, now and forever.

Fifth Station: The road to Emmaus

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in him shall never die. Alleluia.

The Benefice of Kirkdale, Harome, Nunnington and Pockley
St Hilda’s, Beadlam
Reading – Luke 24:28-35

As the two disciples came near the village to which they were going, Jesus walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying,’ Abide with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over’. So, he went to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven and their companions gathered they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Here we commemorate the story of the walk to Emmaus as narrated by St Luke. As Christ reveals himself in word and sacrament we give thanks for the sustaining grace of the word proclaimed, the broken bread, the wine outpoured. We pray that the risen presence of Christ may be mediated to all who live in pain, brokenness, and under the shadow of death. Abide with them and us, Lord Jesus.

I am the Bread of life; whoever comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35

Prayer

We praise you and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of glory,

For you are with us,

Even when our eyes are closed to your companionship.

Walk this day alongside the disconsolate and the despairing,

Open their eyes to your gentle illumination,

And let their hearts burn within them at your invisible presence.

To you, Lord Jesus

Walking by our side,

Be honour and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Sixth Station: Jesus reveals himself to Thomas

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me shall never die. Alleluia.  

Reading – John 20:24–29

Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So, the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord’. But he said to them, ‘unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you’. Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Here we read the story of St Thomas’ encounter with Christ from St John’s Gospel. In the unbelieving of St Thomas, we see the Cross and our own pain and doubts– we recall the wood of the Cross draped in crimson, the sign of our Lord’s suffering and death; in the believing St Thomas and in the light of the resurrection we see hope – especially at a time when to be able to ‘touch’ has new meaning in ways which we could never have anticipated – and we thank you for those who tend the wounds with compassion, skill and courage.

The Chapel at St Thomas Hospital - J.E. Putney And Sons Plasterers ...
The Chapel at St Thomas’s Hospital, London

Although you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not now see him, you believe in him.  1 Peter 1:8   

Glory to Christ our risen Lord. Alleluia.

Prayer

We praise you and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of Glory,

For you come to us even in our doubting.

Through the sovereign work of your Spirit,

And the loving hands of your people,

Continue to reveal yourself where doubt is stronger than faith.

To you, Lord Jesus, whose resurrection body bears the marks of the cross,

Be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Praise to you Lord Jesus: dying you destroyed death, rising you restored our life; Lord Jesus, come in glory

With my love and prayers, Sue

Reverend Sue Binks: Kirkdale Churches

For the next 4 Stations from Sue, please follow this link. Thanks to Jon Tyson for the great title photo on Unsplash.

stjohnstmarkchurchbury

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for Reverend Sue for allowing us to use this meditation. Previously unfamiliar to me it is extremely helpful at this time. ‘Reach into our broken hearts with your promise of hope’ as the prayer for station 2 says.

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