Saturday, March 19, 2016

Stations of the Cross (with Children) and Plenary Indulgences

I wanted to quickly jump on my blog to post about Stations of the Cross (with children) especially since this coming week is Holy Week.

Last night, as my family was gathered together meditating on the Stations, I thought of sharing some of our traditions with you, (if you don't mind).

During Lent, if we cannot make it over to church for the Stations of the Cross on each Friday, we gather together as a family for an at-home meditation by using a variety of tools.

One way to meditate at home is with this beautiful The Way of the Cross for Children DVD (that we will be using in the van on Good Friday as we travel to my sister's in Kansas City) ::

I've had it for years and noticed it is no longer available on Amazon at this time, but is available on Pro Multis Media website.  The traditional images and the song Stabat Mater in English are perfect for little ones.

I think our most favorite way to meditate as a family is by using our Station of the Cross votive candles I made a few years ago, and we follow along with the Way of the Cross for Children booklet.

The original post with super easy directions is here, but I put a quick summery in this post as well ::

Adhere the black and white labels with Mod Podge (labels found here).

We light each one and then as the family takes turns reading a Station,  that person blows out the  individual Station candle.  As we meditate on the 14th Station, Jesus is Laid in the Tomb, the candle light is gone.

This experience is a hands-on, very tangible one.  My four year old isn't perfect during the meditation but certainly puts in quite an effort as she waits to blow out the candle when it is her turn.

Lenten Fact:
A plenary indulgence is granted for those who piously exercise the Way of the Cross, actually moving from station to station where they are legitimately erected and while mediating on the passion and death of our Lord ("Enchiridion of Indulgences," No. 63). 

What is a Plenary Indulgence??

Here is a great introduction to indulgences, something "that is under-emphasized" (sadly) among Catholics.  

In brief ::

There is surely no better place to turn than to the Enchiridion of Indulgences. "Enchiridion" means "handbook," and the Enchiridion of Indulgences is the Church's official handbook on what acts and prayers carry indulgences and what indulgences actually are.
An indulgences is defined as "the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned." The first thing to note is that forgiveness of a sin is separate from punishment for the sin. Through sacramental confession we obtain forgiveness, but we aren't let off the hook as far as punishment goes.
Indulgences are two kinds: partial and plenary. A partial indulgences removes part of the temporal punishment due for sins. A plenary indulgence removes all of it. This punishment may come either in this life, in the form of various sufferings, or in the next life, in purgatory. What we don't get rid of here we suffer there.

To receive an indulgence ::
"To acquire a plenary indulgence," says the Enchiridion, "it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. It is further required that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent."

Praying that you all have a fruitful Holy Week! 
~  Patty  ~


  1. God bless your Holy Week Patty!

  2. We do the same candles/book/stations, thanks to you!!! But we put the candles around the house, and then light them at each station. I like your idea of blowing out the candles MUCH better!!!!!! Lighting each candle at the beginning of each station can be very distracting, but blowing them out after reading the station is brilliant. :o) Becky

  3. Wishing you all a blessed Holy Week.

  4. Love this Patty!! I printed off some stations labels a few weeks ago but have been unable to find candles that would fit! I'll keep searching.


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