Stations of the Cross and Resurrection - Liturgical Boxes

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This idea began with suggestions for Resurrection Eggs and Stations of the Cross boxes posted in this thread at the 4 Real Learning bulletin board. Small items representing the Stations are gathered together in a box. They can then be used by small children either to follow along with older members of the family praying the Stations, or to introduce them at the child's own level. Even quite young toddlers enjoy these boxes, which make Biblical events tangible for them.

I have made PDF files with printable cards for both the Stations of the Cross and the Stations of the Resurrection. These can be downloaded for personal use. Children can learn to match the items to the cards and use them to learn the order of the Stations. To make Montessori-style three part cards, print out two sets of cards, and cut the second set into separate pictures and captions. 

* I believe all the pictures used in the cards are out of copyright. If this is not the case, please bring it to my attention. The Stations of the Cross pictures are used on a number of different websites. Most of the Stations of the Resurrection pictures are free clipart from ChristiansUnite.com 


Stations of the Cross Box (copyright Joe and Irene Starrs)

Stations of the Cross Cards (PDF file)

A list of suggested items for inclusion in the box can be found here.


Stations of the Resurrection Box

The Stations of the Resurrection, or Way of Light (Via Lucis) have been developed recently as a counterpart to the Stations of the Cross and have been commended by the Vatican. This extract is from the Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy published by the Congregation for Doctrine and Worship in 2001:

153: A pious exercise called the Via Lucis has developed and spread to many regions in recent years. Following the model of the Via Crucis, the faithful process while meditating on the various appearances of Jesus – from his Resurrection to his Ascension – in which he showed his glory to the disciples who awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14, 26; 16, 13-15; Lk 24, 49), strengthened their faith, brought to completion his teaching on the Kingdom and more closely defined the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church.

Through the Via Lucis, the faithful recall the central event of the faith – the resurrection of Christ – and their discipleship in virtue of Baptism, the paschal sacrament by which they have passed from the darkness of sin to the bright radiance of the light of grace (cf. Col 1, 13; Eph 5, 8).

For centuries the Via Crucis involved the faithful in the first moment of the Easter event, namely the Passion, and helped to fix its most important aspects in their consciousness. Analogously, the Via Lucis, when celebrated in fidelity to the Gospel text, can effectively convey a living understanding to the faithful of the second moment of the Paschal event, namely the Lord's Resurrection.

The Via Lucis is potentially an excellent pedagogy of the faith, since "per crucem ad lucem" [through the Cross (one comes) to the light]. Using the metaphor of a journey, the Via Lucis moves from the experience of suffering, which in God's plan is part of life, to the hope of arriving at man's true end: liberation, joy and peace which are essentially paschal values.

The Via Lucis is a potential stimulus for the restoration of a "culture of life" which is open to the hope and certitude offered by faith, in a society often characterized by a "culture of death", despair and nihilism.

Stations of the Resurrection Cards (PDF file) 

    1.  Jesus is raised from the dead - small statue of Jesus
    2. The finding of the empty tomb - empty box; angel
    3. Mary Magdalene meets the risen Jesus - small box of spices; cinnamon stick; miniature perfume bottle
    4. Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus - small stick (to represent walking staff)
    5. Jesus is known in the breaking of bread - toy loaf or slice of bread
    6. Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem - "Peace be with you" printed on card
    7. Jesus gives the disciples power to forgive sins - prayer card with the Act of Contrition; purple cloth cut into shape of a stole (as worn by a priest to hear Confessions); key (to represent keys of the Kingdom)
    8. Jesus strengthens the faith of Thomas - nail
    9. Jesus appears by the sea of Tiberias - fish (picture, toy or model)
    10. Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep - toy sheep
    11. Jesus commissions the disciples upon the mountain - map of the world; miniature globe
    12. The Ascension of Jesus - cotton ball  (to represent a cloud)
    13. Mary and the disciples wait in prayer - praying hands; Rosary; small statue of Our Lady
    14. The Holy Spirit descends at Pentecost - dove; fire (picture, toy or model); small candle (flame)