40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Stations of the Cross Tableaus

On we go to our next Lenten activity!


Stations of the Cross Tableaus

  • Many of us catechists do not have the time or resources to “produce” an entire Living Stations of the Cross.
  • This idea – Stations of the Cross Tableaus – is designed for those of us with very limited time and resources.
  • Instead of organizing an entire production, organize the young people intro groups and have them prepare “tableaus” (a representation of a scene – a “freeze-frame”) of each of the Stations of the Cross.
  • This, of course, involves props and costumes, however, there is no script to memorize and rehearse and no “performance” to organize.
  • Assign roles to the young people (Jesus, Pontius Pilate, Pilate’s servant, crowd (onlookers), Roman soldiers, Mary the Mother of Jesus, Simon of Cyrene, Veronica, Women of Jerusalem, Nicodemus, the “little company of Mary” i.e. those who accompanied Mary at the foot of the Cross)
  • Have the young people present their tableaus one at at time and take a digital picture of each tableau.
  • When finished, print the pictures and display them in your classroom, in the parish, on a parish Web site, or create a small Stations of the Cross booklet that includes these pictures.

40 Ideas for 40 Days
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40 Ideas for 40 Days
Check out all of the activities for Lent.
About Joe Paprocki 2746 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

9 Comments on 40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Stations of the Cross Tableaus

  1. What are your thoughts on doing Stations of the Cross with kids? This is the second activity on the Stations. My second grade teacher did Stations of the Cross with the kids on Tuesday and it didn’t seem to effect the kids too much (I had hesitations because I thought they were a bit young but the churches are traditional). She used a children’s version which was ok. But even thinking of the nails going into his hands. The only thing that they questioned was they didn’t understand he died. I wasn’t feeling very comfortable with it, but the kids seemed ok.
    I remember as a child having a hard time thinking about what they did to Jesus. I know it’s a Catholic tradition. Is there a good age to start showing them the Stations of the Cross?

  2. As long as I have been a catechist, every year in our Parish Religious Education program all grades come together to pray the Stations of the Cross during the class in Holy Week. For many years, we used a projected slide of the scene and we have booklets that are the Children’s Stations.

    3 years ago one of the 6th grade classes presented the tableaus as suggested above. It is amazing!!! We have continued it the past 2 years and I hope to see it again this year. They do their ‘freeze frame’ behind a white sheet and a strong light is shown upward so it is just their shadows. Very powerful for the ‘actors’ and holds the interst much better of all the children.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Cynthia. The tableaus, also known as “shadow stations” when using the white sheet and bright light, are very moving and powerful.

  3. Hi Joe,

    My teaching partner and I are wanting to do stations of the cross tableaux’s with our students as well. Would I also be able to get a copy of this resource? Much appreciated.

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