Make Your Own At-Home Stations of the Cross

Note: This post originally published last year during Lent, and I’m updating it just a tad and republishing. I’ve seen a few “how to pray the Stations with your children” posts floating around social media lately, and I simply want to share something that works well in our home.

Our daughter Lucy is now five-and-a-half years; Jude man is now two. I decorated the mantle with our at-home stations once again this Lent, and the kids are rather naturally attracted to know what’s being illustrated on the photos. We have the book The Stations of the Cross by Fr. Lovasik. It’s not the freshest nor the flashiest, but my two older kids respond to it very well. I guess I’m rather impressed at how they follow along as I light each candle and pray with each station.

It’s simple. It’s attractive. It involves FIRE. The kids have something to keep their hands and minds occupied while the parents pray. Hey, it’s working for us!

Living the Liturgical Year: Lent

My mission as of late was to figure out once and for all how to decorate the mantle during Lent. In other words, I’ve spent way too much time on Pinterest in search of ideas to beg, borrow, and steal. ‘Twas not all for naught — one idea here, another idea there, and voilà: a Stations of the Cross suitable for the home mantle.

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Several bloggers offer free printable Station cards. Given our printer is on the fritz, I headed over to the local Catholic book store and purchased The Challenge of the Cross: Praying the Stations by Alfred McBride. I adhered the pictures to fat eighths fabric pieces and each station is kept in place with a party votive accessorized with a simple purple ribbon.

At home Stations of the Cross

7th-Station

Home-Stations-of-the-cross

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I know praying the Stations isn’t designed as a happy experience; rather, it’s a way to link the joys and sorrows of our daily lives to Jesus’ journey to Calvary.

At Jude’s Baptism last year, a friend gifted me the book A Way of the Cross for Mothers by J. Katherine Reilly. While the reflections and prayers in this book can be used for private contemplations, it’s especially designed for moms to gather communally and pray the Way of the Cross together. What a blessing to slow down a little and give some extra time to God with a few sisters in Christ.

My Lenten weekly challenge: invite a few moms over to pray the Way of the Cross together using the PRETTY Stations while all our kiddos nap, nurse, and/or play. Now that will make me happy!

A Way of the Cross for Moms

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This is what the Das Schmidt Haus kids were up to while I crafted. Can you see why I don’t do this often?

Lucy-Vs-Shredder

For the record, I didn’t allow the kids to shred the paper, and I unplug the shredder when it’s not in use. So there. Get behind me Child Protective Services!

Jude-Vs-Shredder

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Question: when you pray the Stations of the Cross, do you contemplate on fourteen or fifteen scenes? As I understand it, a fifteenth station, “Jesus Rises from the Dead,” is now often added to celebrate the full reality of Jesus’ saving work in his death and resurrection. I am more accustomed to praying fourteen Stations, but McBride includes the fifteenth station in his book. I appreciate the extra station as the whole of the Christian faith rests on the question: “Did Jesus rise?” Seems if we exclude this station, we exclude the reality of Jesus’ saving work. Or should allow Good Friday to have the main stage for a few more weeks? What say you?

15-Station

Do you decorate your home during Lent? If so, let’s see and hear about your handiwork! Feel free to share links to blog posts/Pinterest pins, etc. in the comment box below.

Linked up with {pretty, happy, funny, real} hosted at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

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Comments

  1. oneview says

    This is such a cool idea, so simple and doable. My kids are older, so I will just show them your photos and they’ll be excited to do it all! (Something for you to look forward to, Lisa, although couldn’t you use the shredded paper as some kind of Lenten straw for good deeds or sacrifices? Double recycling that way! Hee! Hee!)

  2. says

    The key to Mamas crafting must be universal – let your kids make a huge mess while you finish a project and they’ll leave you alone long enough to finish! It’s the only way I get anything done, haha!!

    I love these Stations! I’m wanting to make some for our home and this definitely gives me some inspiration to work with!

    • says

      Thanks, Michele! My husband said he was super impressed that I didn’t freak out or yell at the kids. My response? A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do! You get it, too! :)

  3. says

    Lisa, these hidden talents I learn about you! These are very beautiful. It’s kindling my old “craft nerd” days that Mary and I may have to make these. It is amazing how much we allow our kids to mess so we can accomplish one thing. The pics of the kids are hilarious.

    • says

      Thank you. But let’s be clear. This is my one and only craft project for the year. ;) And remember, I can’t decorate cakes or sew … and I stink at spontaneous prayer. You have me beat in all those categories!

  4. says

    Excellent idea! The highlight of our Lent (should it have a highlight?) is our kids acting out the stations every Good Friday. We do not do the fifteenth station as it seems inappropriate for the day. Usually, when we go to a church or garden to do the stations, we just end it wherever the stations there stop. I do admit that the fifteenth station leaves one feeling a little more uplifted.

    • says

      Thanks Rebekah! I’m going to try and call-in to Catholic Answers or something to get a little theological clarification on the 15th station. It’s that Good Friday – Easter Sunday combo … should we yet focus on the Resurrection, or allow Good Friday to have the main stage for a few more weeks? I’d like to learn more!

  5. says

    I LOVE all the fabric and the station scenes have a beautiful “stained glass” look!

    I do other decorations around the house, the mantel has a crucifix which I hang a purple stole, etc…but I am going to “borrow” your idea, here! Thank you for sharing!
    Regarding the 14 vs 15th station during Lent, we keep it at 14.

    • says

      Thanks, Valerie. I have reconsidered the 15th station. I asked Patrick Madrid for input, and his reply basically was, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” I’ll probably write a follow up post with more detailed info.

  6. says

    I’m VERY behind on my blogs, and I just came across this post. I love the simplicity and beauty of your Stations on the mantle, and I just might have to steal this. I was hoping to start off the Lenten season with something like this, but the whole selling the house thing took over, and we’ve stuck to our regular schedule. I LOVE your idea to have other mamas over to gather and pray the Stations with you while your kiddos play, nap, etc. Oh, how I wish we lived in the same city! :)

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