The Stations as a Source of Counseling for the Bereaved

Stations, Grief and Counseling

Many individuals suffer in life unfairly.  None more than Jesus Christ.  His passion and death serve as an example to Christians how to properly offer suffering to God and carry one’s own cross.  The Way of the Cross is not an easy choice in life.  It involves accepting the will of God and having utter faith in His ultimate plan.  As in the life of His own Son, the journey of the cross may not be a pleasant on earth.  Christians can meditate on the Stations of the Cross to better learn about suffering and the value of it.  It can be a tool to help others appreciate Christ’s suffering and sacrifice and also allow one to see Christ as a model of suffering to follow.   Christ tells all, to pick up one’s cross and to follow Him.  This may not be the news we wanted but it the is the news we need.

Christian Counselors, pastors, ministers, and priests all face suffering everyday when they speak to many who experience the worst in life, but by pointing to the cross, one can find an example of how to properly carry one’s cross in obedience even to death.  Christ as our suffering servant serves as an ultimate example but also shows us the love of God Himself to die on a cross for our sins.  This is why it is important to learn the Way of the Cross and to implement it into our spiritual life especially during Lent.

Many who walk the way of the cross, recount many parts of the four Gospels, while other parts stem from tradition or mere common sense.  From tradition, meditation and other accounts, many incidents that occurred during Christ’s trek to Calvary can be meditated and prayed upon.  It is essential in meditation to think back and suffer with Christ in thanksgiving and sorrow for His infinite gift of life.  One can learn so much by this meditation on the stations and become so much closer to Christ in the process.

History of the Stations

So what are the Stations of the Cross?  The Stations as a custom fall back to the 4th Century, when Christians could again in public walk the path of Christ in Jerusalem.  Upon the meditations, 14 points of emphasis emerged that highlighted Christ’s passion.  Again, some of these points of emphasis stemmed from Scripture, while others tradition.   Examples include the Christ’s multiple fallings and the pain of the women and Veronica.   These would be obvious occurrences and were related through other sources or as understood.  For instance, through the many meditations, devotion to the wounds of Christ on His Shoulder from the weight of the cross, or the bleeding of His knees from His many falls grew within the faithful.

The Stations hence were an early Christian devotion that emerged from the East and still to this day for pilgrims is a spiritual exercise.  It became a more consistent tradition in the West, when St Francis of Assisi brought the tradition back to his monastery from his trip to the Holy Land.  Through St Francis, the journey of Christ’s crucifixion became a more consistent tradition in the West communally and also individually.   To this day, the tradition is practiced in Western Churches during Lent with personal devotion any time of the year.

The Stations themselves consist of 14 stations.  Through the years different prayers have been compiled to accompany the faithful through the meditation of Christ’s sorrow or as it is also called the Way of Sorrow or Via Dolorosa.  The priest, deacon or chosen prayer leader walks to each station usually accompanied by a cross bearer.  Usually each station is accompanied with an opening repetitive prayer such as ” We adore you Christ and we bless you-because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world”  Within each station is a meditation and then a series of prayers with the congregation kneeling at certain points facing the particular station within the Church.   There have emerged different traditions with different focal points.  Some are the more traditional prayers while other ones focus on the thoughts of Mary during her Son’s horrible torture.

The stations teach Christians how to face suffering through imitation of Christ through His suffering and death on the cross


The Stations

We will now list the 14 Stations.

The First station is Christ before Pilot.

The Second station portrays Christ accepting His cross

The Third station recounts Christ’s first fall

The Fourth station accounts for Christ’s meeting with His Mother during His long trek to Calvary

The Fifth station refers to Simon helping Christ carry His cross

The Sixth station mentions the wiping of Christ’s face by Veronica

The Seventh station recounts Christ’s Second Fall

The Eighth station remembers the grief of the holy women

The Ninth station recounts Christ’s third fall

The Tenth station is the stripping of Christ garments

The Eleventh station reminds us of Christ’s horrible torment of being nailed to the cross

The Twelfth station is Christ’s crucifixion on the cross

The Thirteenth station is the removal of Christ from the cross

The Fourteenth station is the sealing of the tomb


As one can see, the stations carry deep and meditative thoughts regarding Christ’s death.  Much of it stems from Scripture.  In this way, both Catholics and Protestants can find common ground in their Christian faith in celebrating and meditating upon these divine mysteries.  They feed the soul through scripture itself and also remind the soul of the great price Christ paid on the cross.  This is also why the stations are so beautiful as an aide to the suffering.

The stations show Christ as the ultimate example of accepting difficulty and hardship and showing obedience to God’s will.  They show the love of many towards Christ during His death and also show the pain of Mary, a mother, over the cruel death of her Son.  The lessons from the Stations and application to them to difficulty in life are without equal.

The stations bring us to the Holy Land, they take us to the heart of Mary, and help us appreciate the beauty and love of God through His death on the cross.  The stations allow us the honor to walk with Christ and to accompany Him and offer Him worship.  It teaches us the humility of Christ, the obedience of Christ, and the love of Christ.  It shows us the power of suffering in a fallen world and how Christ could turn death into life.

From a practical stand point, it helps us face our own crosses and Calvary and shows us to turn to Christ for help in offering our own cross in this life.

How many can learn from Christ through the Stations?

Wrongly accused?

Carrying unfair burden

Losing a son

Accepting one’s cross

Forgiving one’s enemies

Dying for a friend

Displaying humility and dignity in evil situations

In counseling, the bereaved and persecuted can find solace in the Stations while they mediate upon the sorrows of Christ.  Christ as the ultimate example, not only died for our sins, but also taught us through His behavior during His passion how to face evil in this world.

We learn through the Stations, the obedience, humility and love Christ possessed in His heart.



It is very recommended that all Christians participate in the celebration of the stations both communally and individually.  It is an act of adoration and thanksgiving to Christ but also a beautiful way to learn and understand the true meaning of Christian suffering.

Whether Catholic, Protestant or non -denominational, the worship of Christ through the meditation upon the Stations is a universal Christian tradition for all to share as Christians in one Baptism.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Grief Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.  Those who have already earned the basic Grief Counseling Certification and work in ministry are excellent candidates to earn this secondary certification in Grief Counseling.  The certification captures the unique perspective Christianity has on grief and how Christian Counselors, spiritual advisors, pastors, ministers and priests can better help Christians spiritually grieve in this fallen world.

Additional Resources

“History of the Stations of the Cross”. The Passionists. 2020. Access here

“Stations of the Cross”. Francis of Assisi. My Catholic Life! A journey of personal conversion!. Access here

“Praying Stations of the Cross, a Primer for Protestants”. Selah Center.  April 9th, 2022. Access here

“Four Reasons to Pray the Stations of the Cross Daily”. Philip Kosloski. Access here


Christian Counseling Video on Christology

The Incarnation is central to Christian theology.  Christ is both God and man.  Through this miracle, Christ redeemed humanity.  However, the theology over the ages has dealt with many heretical challenges to the nature of Jesus and both His Divinity and His Humanity.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.


Please also review the video below on Christology

Christian Counseling Certification Article on Jesus Christ: Glorify Him

Jesus is the central aspect of life.  He plays such a key role because without Him there is no redemption.  Christ the New Adam took upon sin and undid the curse of Adam through His sacrifice on the cross.   Hence in everything, Christ is present.  Christ makes all new.

Jesus Christ is an amazing miracle within Himself.  He is the Word made Flesh as stated in the Gospel of John and that alone warrants adoration and worship yet many do not understand the true inner workings of Christ and can become confused.

Jesus is both God and Man, perfectly unified in person. He deserves to be glorified


First and foremost, it is important to emphasize the importance of Jesus Christ.  The Fall of Adam sent the temporal world spiraling out of control into spiritual darkness.  Reparation needed made due Adam’s sin but no sacrifice was pure enough.  A sacrifice that possessed both perfect priest and perfect victim were needed to be given to God.

Christ offered Himself as that sacrifice by merely being born, but permitted Himself to remain obedient even to death to fulfill the necessity of sacrifice.  The Last Supper would have sufficed as the Perfect Sacrifice but the evil of humanity sought His life in a bloody sacrifice.  Christ did not demand His own end but accepted the will of the Father and hence as history showed, He was crucified.

However, to be a perfect priest and sacrifice Christ had to be both God and man.  He had to be perfectly both.  From a Divine standpoint, His essence as the Word, was divine and eternal while from a human standpoint, He was created and not eternal.

His Body was perfectly human.  The Divine Word did not create a shell to inhabit, or create the illusion of being human, but literally shared and occupied a Body with Jesus.  The Divine Word did not overtake or possess but became one with the human soul and body.  This hypostatic union was made possible by Mary saying yes to God’s will.

When looking at this miracle, Christ was both God and man, completely and fully, two natures but perfectly fused as one person.  Hence Christ’s humanity while created, became interconnected with the Word in such a way that Christ the Person was completely God.  One element was eternal, while another was finite, but together in union, represented one person and one God.

Due to this, we worship Jesus as a person.  We do not reserve worship only for His divine element but His entirety.

Because of Christ’s entirety of both God and man, He could then properly represent humanity as High Priest and as Divine offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice to the Father.  This is why it is so critically important that we understand that Christ is both fully human and fully God but yet one person.

This supernatural mystery of the Incarnation and Hypostatic Union show the great love Christ has for humanity and His central role in the redemption plan.  This love was so perfect that many even contend, the incarnation was impossible to prevent even if Adam had remained faithful.  Through Christ’s humanity, the Logos can touch us in different ways than just as a pure spirit and Deity.  As a human, He can love us in every possible way.

Jesus became human not only to redeem us but also to love us at the most human level


So many heresies have confused these concepts, either dismissing His divinity (Arius) or reducing His humanity (gnostics) or misunderstanding how His natures interacted (Nestorianism and Monophysitism).   These heresies miss the importance of God’s perfect love for us as well as the Christ’s role as the New Adam.

So we can confidently declare that Christ is Divine for the “Word Became Flesh”.  He is the Alpah Omega as declared in Revelations and He was eternal before, as He stated, than even Abraham.  We can also confidently declare Christ is human for He was indeed born in a manager, and was indeed crucified.

The Incarnation and Redemption saw the birth and death of a man and the resurrection of a God. For this reason, we glorify Christ and bend our knee.  Christ is our King, Priest, Redeemer, but also our Friend and most Beloved.

If you would like to learn more about Jesus Christ, one should read the Gospels, as well as study Christology.  This will enrich one’s understanding but also one’s love of Christ.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals


Related Links

Please review  Jesus both God and Man article–Please click here

Also please review article on nature of Christ–Please click here

Also please view article on Jesus–Please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s video on the Word Made Flesh–Please click here

Finally, also review article on Jesus–Please click here 


Christian Counseling Certification Article on the Heresy of Arianism

The early Church faced many misconceptions about Jesus Christ.  Some believed Jesus’ body was a shell to the Divine Logos without a human soul.  Others thought Jesus was not true body at all but a phantasm of light.  Still others thought Jesus’ human nature and divine nature were so entangled that neither retained a true liberty from each other and were in fact fused into one mixture.  Others distinguished Jesus’ nature so much that there was no true unity but a loose union of two separate natures.

Arius denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and lessened him to the first creation of the Father. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


One of the earliest though was Arianism which denied the co-eternal nature of the Son with the Father.  This heresy was perpetrated by the hesiarch Arius in the 4th century.  His heresy was condemned at the Council of Nicaea at 325 AD as well again at Constantinople in 381 AD.  Of course proper and orthodox theology teaches that Jesus is one person with two natures in harmony being both fully God via the Second Person and fully human through Jesus of Nazareth.

The article, “What Is Arianism and Are You Accidentally Committing This Heresy?” by Alyssa Roat gives a very detailed account of Arianism and is a good resource for those seeking to understand it better.  She states,

“Many centuries ago, a man named Arius stirred major controversy in the church with his claim: Jesus Christ was created and finite, not of equal divinity with the Father. This became known as the heresy of Arianism. However, repudiation and rejection of his claim did not come easily. Even today, we may find ourselves falling into Arianism.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals in ministry who are seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.