5 - Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross

            We adore you O Christ and we bless you

All        because by your holy cross

you have redeemed the world.


Bible Reading - Mark 15:21

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.



Simon had come to Jerusalem for the festival and now finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Simon is drawn into Jesus’ story and compelled to accompany him on these final steps.  He would be unwilling but could find himself in deep danger if things go bad.  It doesn’t pay to get too close to Roman execution parties in case they take a dislike to you and you end up on a cross too.  Did Simon’s encounter with Jesus at these final moments change him?  Did something of the quality of Jesus’ death move him?  For the moment he is complicit in Jesus’ death, but powerless to do any other.  If he refuses he will die too, so to save his own neck he assists the execution.


Lord Jesus,

we give you thanks and praise

for you became weak in sharing in our vulnerability.

Teach us to accept our limitations

and with humility to accept aid with good grace

when we need it.  Amen.



            O Saviour of the world

who by your cross and precious blood redeemed us

All        Save us and help us we humbly beseech you, O Lord.