By Stony Paths

By Stony Paths...
following the way of the cross

For Holy Week 2020, I’m producing a 15 minute daily meditation following the journey of Jesus’ passion in podcast format.

Starting on Palm Sunday through to Easter Day, these will offer a space for engaging with the gospel narrative of Jesus’ passion and resurrection. Using, readings from the gospels, each meditation will invite reflection and prayer to enable you to journey with Jesus, being with him.

This will take you from the truimphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through to the last supper, the crucifixion to the resurrection on Easter Day. 

My prayer is that these meditations will enable you to gain a deeper sense of the power of God’s love shown in Jesus, to know him more closely, and be able to respond more fully to God in your life.


By Stony Paths is provided by Revd Preb Nick Helm.

Nick has over 30 years of ordained ministry in London, Sheffield and Herefordshire. He has been leading Holy Week retreats and meditations for many years and in different contexts from busy urban churches to quiet rural retreats. He has been offering Spiritual Accompaniment, to provide support for people in their journey of faith for over 20 years and has published books on spirituality and spiritual growth.

Following ‘By Stony Paths…’

As you follow this journey, you are invited to find for yourself a stone to hold as you listen, symbol of the stony path that this journey takes you on. Each meditation has a second symbol to find and hold in your other hand. There is also a Psalm that is suggested for reading quietly prior to listening to the meditation.

Below you will see the plan. The meditations will become available on the day they are set for. Good Friday has three meditations, which can be used to frame a three-hour time with the cross from 12 noon to 3pm or at times that suit you.

There is a long tradition of holding a dawn service on Easter Day, as the sun rises, with a fire lit to symbolise the power of the resurrection. You may like to do this for yourself as you listen to the meditation or if you are able, find a place where you are able to watch sunrise as you listen.

Palm Sunday:

Symbol: Palm Cross or Long green leaf
Gospel Reading: Luke 19.29-40


Symbol: Incense Stick or perfumed handkerchief
Psalm 25
Gospel Reading: John 12.1-11


Symbol: A seed, grain of wheat or rice
Psalm 55.12-22
Gospel Reading: John 12.20-26


Symbol: Something broken, perhaps a piece of broken crockery

Psalm 88
Gospel Reading: John 13.21-27

Maundy Thursday:

Symbol: A small towel or piece of linen and a small bowl of water

Psalm 42 & 43
Gospel Reading: John 13.2-17

Good Friday:

Symbol: small cross
Psalm 69

First Meditation:

Gospel Reading: John 19.1-19

Second Meditation:

Gospel: John 19.25b-30

Third Meditation:

Gospel: John 19.31-34

Holy Saturday:

Symbol: An empty glass
Psalm 142
Gospel Reading: John 2.18-21

Easter Day:

Symbol: A Lit Candle or if you are doing this outside, a fire.

Psalm 105
Gospel: John 20.1-19

6 thoughts on “By Stony Paths

  1. Thank you Nick: very calming and at the same time thought provoking and emotive at the same time.
    Closer to Jesus.

  2. The highlight of Holy week! I thoroughly enjoyed entering into all you said, the passages that you read and meditations as I entered into the stories afresh this Holy Week. You have a real gift that helped me deepen my faith and encountered Jesus. Thank you, Nick.

  3. Looking forward to Holy Week with you Nick. I anticipate it will be a great source of strength and will give a sense of travelling together through Holy Week.
    I not only have a cross but I have a palm branch, borrowed from church for my Quiet Day and which I have been unable to return!

    Blessings to you for this week,
    Love, Helen

  4. Thanks for the podcasts. It will be a comfort in Easter week to be guided ,nourished and made thoughtful

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