Friends of Jesus introduces children to people who helped Jesus on the Way of the Cross.

     Veronica was the woman reputed to have come out of the crowd and wiped the face of Jesus.

     Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus to carry the cross.

     The women of Jerusalem wept and showed compassion for Jesus.

     Mary loved him and stayed with him to the bitter end - as did Mary Magdalene.

     John stayed and watched all that unfolded 
     and told the story of the Passion so that we could hear it today.


Have ready pictures of - or representing - the characters in the liturgy.

For the Veneration (honouring), have a simple wooden cross and spring flowers.

Candles for the "We want to be friends like Jesus" section.

The follow-up exercise is to plant "plug plants" - very small plants that will grow and flower in the summer in the northern hemisphere - or seeds as a sign that life is stronger than death.
You will need small plants, pots and compost. Disposable plastic gloves can be useful too. Ensure the children wash their hands when they have finished!

Readings and Ritual

Depending on the age and ability of the children, they could be the readers. Give them the necessary reading in advance so that they can practise.

If moving round the church think about using a processional song - e.g. Jesus, remember me from the Taizé Community.

Have quiet music to play while the children lay their flowers at the foot of the cross. This will help to create a clam and prayerful atmosphere. Alternatively have a simple repetitive song that the children can sing quietly without needing to have hymnbooks or sheets: the focus is on the symbolic action.

The planting takes place within the Liturgy to help to give it a sacred feel: an awareness of the miracle of life.
Where plug plants are available, they can be used to give the children a head start. They are small and fragile and  need care - but are very alive and full of promise.
Alternatively, use flower seeds - or perhaps even vegetables.
It could also be possible to have the children plant up tubs, window boxes or pots for the enjoyment of the community. Have a selection of small plants - at least one per child - some to trail over the side -others to give height - others to give colour and perfume.

Return to Friends of Jesus