We are excited about our newest offering of coloring posters for Lent: our Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters. Lent will be here soon and we wanted to share with you a little about this next project because we know some of you are already in the midst of planning for Lent.
If you aren’t familiar with the Stations of the Cross, or would like to learn more, you can find out some details about the history of them at Wikipedia here. One of the earliest versions of the Stations of the Cross may have begun around 1217 by St. Francis, who started the Custody of the Holy Land, a group that guarded and promoted the devotion to certain holy places. But it was around 1200-1500 when it was noticed that travelers to the Holy Lands followed a certain sacred route to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
The Stations of the Cross allow us to follow Christ through his last few days, stopping to ponder and reflect along the way.
There is a rich visual history of the Stations of the Cross, and the stations have been painted, sketched, illustrated and drawn in some beautiful and creative ways. However, if you do a google images search for Stations of the Cross coloring sheets, you’ll see artwork that all looks very similar. There is not a child-friendly portrayal of the stations that we have been able to find. Additionally, because many of the versions we found online use the traditional form of the stations of the cross, many of the coloring sheets look very similar. In the traditional form, you have Jesus falling three times, Jesus meeting his mother, the women of Jerusalem, and Veronica wiping Jesus’ face, and these all end up producing almost visually-identical images.
We thought we could create something more creative and meaningful to both children and adults, and so we are excited about our launch of the Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters for Lent 2017.
In addition to the coloring posters, we have also created 8.5×11 coloring sheets of the illustration and a devotional guide – links are below:
- Coloring Posters: While we are sold out of our physical posters, you can still order our digital poster files and get them printed locally.
- 8.5×11 Coloring Sheets: Our 8.5×11 coloring sheets also include a more simplified version of the illustrations for the youngest colorers.
- Devotional Guide: Our devotional guide provides reflections and discussion questions for both children AND adults, as they work through our Stations of the Cross.
Below you can find some specific information about how we’ve decided to approach these coloring posters.
Stations of the Cross: Scriptural Form
The Illustrated Ministry community comes from over 45 different denominations, some of whom may not be familiar with the Stations of the Cross. We also felt more drawn to the scriptural form of the Stations of the Cross, which Pope John Paul II introduced as the Scriptural Way of the Cross on Good Friday 1991. The stations are listed below, along with their accompanying scripture reference:
- Station 1: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-41)
- Station 2: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested (Mark 14:43-46)
- Station 3: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin (Luke 22:66-71)
- Station 4: Jesus is Denied by Peter (Matthew 26:69-75)
- Station 5: Jesus is Judged by Pilate (Mark 15:1-5, 15)
- Station 6: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns (John 19:1-3)
- Station 7: Jesus Bears the Cross (John 19:6, 15-17)
- Station 8: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross (Mark 15:21)
- Station 9: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31)
- Station 10: Jesus is Crucified (Luke 23:33-34)
- Station 11: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief (Luke 23:39-43)
- Station 12: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciples (John 19:25-27)
- Station 13: Jesus Dies on the Cross (Luke 23:44-46)
- Station 14: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb (Matthew 27:57-60)
We are also going to include a fifteenth station: the Resurrection of Jesus (Mark 16:1-6).
While the traditional form of the stations depict some stories that are taken from tradition, rather than from scripture, the scriptural form of the stations presents a version of this devotion that more closely aligned with the biblical accounts.
Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters
Our coloring posters for Lent, this year, will be our Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters. They will be available as 8.5×11 coloring sheets as well (and will be able to be purchased separately). For each of the fourteen stations, we have taken one word that highlights what is happening in the station, and used that word to focus our illustration and questions. In addition to our posters, we are also going to include a short discussion sheet for each of the stations, with the scripture text and a primary reflection question for each of the stations. We think this will allow the Stations of the Cross to become even more relevant to children, youth and adults.
Since we knew that having 14 posters to color during Lent would be too much, we decided to put two stations on each poster, and they look like an open Bible to remind folks that these events and stations come out of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ last few days.
Details about posters: We will have seven 36″ x 24″ posters which will display the fourteen Stations of the Cross based off the scriptural form of the stations, and then we will have an eighth poster for the 15th station, Resurrection, that can be incorporated into Holy Week or Easter Sunday.
Below you can see the poster designs included in this poster series (click on the image to see a larger version of the poster design):
Ideas for Using our Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters
This is our second year using coloring posters for Lent, and we continue to be excited to see how churches, schools, and other communities decide to use our coloring posters. Below are just a few ideas for how you might be able to incorporate our Stations of the Cross coloring posters into your programs or communities:
- Children’s Ministry: Find ways to incorporate the posters into your Sunday morning programs for children (whether that’s during Sunday School or during another time)
- During Worship: Dedicate a section in your worship space to allow young people (and those who are young at heart) to color during worship. We’ve heard this is a great way to allow children to engage with worship in a fun and creative way
- Youth Ministry: Children aren’t the only ones who like to color. We’ve had hundreds of youth programs around the world use our coloring posters.
- Intergenerational ministry opportunities: By far, one of the most popular uses for our coloring posters is to create intergenerational worship and fellowship opportunities during Advent and Lent. Many churches do a Wednesday night Lenten supper program, or have weekly opportunities for gathering, and our coloring posters work great in those settings. Whether you just have the posters out on tables for people who are waiting to eat, or you create an entire program around the Stations of the Cross for an intergenerational group, you’ll be amazed at the conversations that can be had while multiple generations get together and color.
- College/campus ministries: We’ve also had many campus ministries use our coloring posters and this would be a fun opportunity for a campus ministry to do during Lent.
- Private/Parochial Schools: Some private Christian schools have purchased our posters and found ways to engage multiple classrooms in creating a collaborative art project. Many schools could use these Stations of the Cross coloring posters to create a really unique educational opportunity by creating art together.
We’ve found that some of the most creative ideas for how to use our products actually come from the churches and communities who use our materials. So, what are YOUR ideas?
How can I find out more information about our Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters?
Here are some places you can connect with us and get more info:
- The best place to find out more about these products, as well as all the other resources and freebies we offer, is to get on our email list. You get a free sample pack of our products when you sign up here.
- If you want a PDF handout about our Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters to show you parish leadership or colleagues and friends, you can get that by clicking here..
- We often offer promotions and discounts to our Facebook Group, and it’s a great place to learn more about how people are using our resources. We also get a lot of great ideas from our friends there. If you’d like to join our Facebook Group, you can do so here.