STATIONS OF THE CROSS – Audio from Fr. Z – NEW VERSION ADDED

Since it is a Friday of Lent, a 1st Friday, do please pray the Act of Reparation. Here also are my audio projects of the Way of the Cross.

What we need right now is PRAYER, especially at the end of this hard week.  And remember to GO TO CONFESSION!

Also, these days, we especially need to pray for priests, which includes bishops and everyone up the hierarchy.  There are many priests today who – for one reason or another – are failing in their duty to teach with clarity what the Church has always taught.  There are other priests who are becoming discouraged and afraid concerning what might befall them if they remain clear and faithful.  Yet other priests are mired in sins.  And always there are those priests who are infirm, old, nearing their judgment.  Hence, this year, I’ve added a new version, The Way Of The Cross For Priests from the Benedictines of Silverstream Priory.  HERE.  Would you consider getting copies of this for your priests where you are? They also have beautiful altar cards HERE.  In my reading, I left out the references to the Scripture passages which are quoted, for they would not be read in a public recitation.  I urge you, however, to obtain a hard copy so that, if you wish, you can find them.  Even more, I urge you lay people to get a copy and then pray with it for priests.

Below are readings of the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross, composed by

  • Joseph Card. Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, for the 2005 Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome
  • St. Alphonus Liguori
  • Bl. John Henry Newman
  • St. Francis of Assisi (according to the method of…)
  • Silverstream Priory – The Way Of The Cross For Priests

There are two versions of the Way by St. Alphonsus Liguori. One is plain with just my voice. The other is the same voice recording but with the Gregorian chant Sequence Stabat Mater interlaced between the stations.

You can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions of confession and Communion within a few days of the work and detachment even from venial sin.  From the Handbook of Indulgences:

63. Exercise of the Way of the Cross (Viae Crucis exercitium)

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross.

The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:

  1. The pious exercise must be made before stations of the Way of the Cross legitimately erected.

  2. For the erection of the Way of the Cross fourteen crosses are required, to which it is customary to add fourteen pictures or images, which represent the stations of Jerusalem.

  3. According to the more common practice, the pious exercise consists of fourteen pious readings, to which some vocal prayers are added. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, which need not be a particular consideration of the individual mysteries of the stations.

  4. A movement from one station to the next is required.

I believe that if you follow the Holy Father’s Way of the Cross on Good Friday, even by television, the indulgence is available.

If the pious exercise is made publicly and if it is not possible for all taking part to go in an orderly way from station to station, it suffices if at least the one conducting the exercise goes from station to station, the others remaining in their place.

Those who are “impeded” can gain the same indulgence, if they spend at least one half an hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For those belonging to Eastern Rites, among whom this pious exercise is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can determine some other pious exercise in memory of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ for the gaining of this indulgence.

Meanwhile, from a reader last year…

Just a quick note to say thank you for providing your recordings of the Stations of the Cross. I am completely blind and had committed to making this part of my Lenten practices, only to have the Braille display from which I read promptly die. I had been struggling to find a recording of St. Alphonsus’ version. May God bless you!

If these recordings are helpful to you, please say a prayer for me, especially if you use the Way Of The Cross For Priests.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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29 Responses to STATIONS OF THE CROSS – Audio from Fr. Z – NEW VERSION ADDED

  1. idelsan says:

    The Way of the Cross of Saint Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer, it’s really good. You can find it in this link. http://www.escrivaworks.org

  2. amg910 says:

    I grew up using Barton Cotton’s The Way of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori. While in school, we used Liturgical Press’s The Way of the Cross from an old Latin version. At the parish I am at now, we use Barton Cotton’s The Way of the Cross with Scriptures. Finally, I just viewed a version I had not seen before: TAN Books’ Way of the Cross according to the Method of St. Francis of Assisi. All of these versions I mentioned have their strengths and weaknesses but I think they are all good for individual or group prayer.

  3. WGS says:

    I personally use several versions for variety, but from my childhood (’40s and ’50s), I clearly remember Christ’s “ignominious” death on the cross, which concept and word bordered on the “ineffable”.

  4. DisturbedMary says:

    Like amg910, at our Church on Fridays we say: The Way of the Cross with Scriptures. Not too wordy. Direct. The scripture text can bring you to tears. A punch in the gut. Humbling. Powerful for all people. Below is the sample 6th station.

    SIXTH STATION
    Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

    Pr.: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
    (GENUFLECT)
    All: Because by your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

    Pr.: “Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?” And answering the king will say to them, ”Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for me.” (Mt. 25:37-40)

    (KNEEL AND PAUSE)

    All: A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
    A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.
    A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds; for he who fears God behaves accordingly,
    and his friend will be like himself. (Sirach 6:14-17)

    Pr.: Let us pray.
    Almighty and ever-loving God, we feel your love and understanding in the consolation and support we receive from one another. Give us, we beg You, the courage and dedication to sacrifice and suffer with those who are in need, the least of your people.
    All: Amen.

    (STAND) Sing: (to the tune of Stabat Mater)

    Prostrate on the dust He crumbled, Flogged in Body He resembled
    All our brothers poor and scorned.

  5. Kent Wendler says:

    Just curious. Does watching Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”, especially on Good Friday, qualify as “pious reading and meditation”?

  6. dholwell says:

    Here at Saint Martin’s University, the new student Knights of Columbus Council led the stations today using the St. Alphonsus Ligouri version. The Abbey has a wonderful outdoor stations on a walking trail, but it was raining like Genesis 7:11 so we used the indoor stations in the monastery. Catholic college students singing Stabat Mater: reinforcing Catholic identity one student and one day at a time.

  7. Netmilsmom says:

    Could you please clarify “A movement from one station to the next is required.”?
    I’ve never moved during Stations. There is a group that moves around the church but the people in the pews do not.
    Does that still meet the requirement for the Plenary Indulgence?

  8. Netmilsmom says:

    I’m sorry, I missed the explanation in the post. Please remove my posting and Thank you Father!

  9. Imrahil says:

    Dear Kent Wendler,

    I think it passes as pious meditation, but streching it to pass as “reading” (because of the subtitles or so) goes, maybe, a bit far.

  10. MrsMacD says:

    I love the stations by St. Alphonsus, always have.

    Here’s an alternative method of the stations not yet mentioned, these stations were written by Cardinal Kung while he was in prison;
    http://www.cardinalkungfoundation.org/pm/pdf/stationsofthecross.pdf

  11. marianna331 says:

    I am at an FSSP parish and we are using their stations (maybe from their seminary?) . I like them they are based in scripture and a good length for late on a Friday evening.
    For personal prayer I have a set by JPII and a set with readings by Carmelite saints available at ICS which are short on words but very meditative.

    Fr Z, I want to thank you for these recording of the stations especially the set by Pope Benedict (I miss him so much) as now I can pray them while working around the house and driving , although I understand that probably doesn’t count towards an indulgence:)

  12. TimG says:

    We use The Way of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori

  13. taffymycat says:

    yesterday our normal stations was replaced with a xerox of what can only be described as a rather secular non devotional form which i have never seen and hope never to see and pray again. for example at the sation of jesus stripped of his garments, the priest reads we should make a will and share what we have with others, blah blah…really a disappointing form of the way of cross i didnt see who wrote it but i hope we go back to the more devotional profound methods.

  14. Roman Catholic Guerrilla says:

    Lovely that update is.

  15. Zephyrinus says:

    Thank You, dear Fr Z, for these wonderful Lenten Aids to Prayer.

    The Blessed John Henry Newman Stations of The Cross move one to tears, as they should of course.

  16. L. says:

    Our parish Priest won’t lead weekly Stations because “the Priest doesn’t have to do everything.” Last year on Good Friday he did lead the Stations, which turned out to be some weird sort of left-wing political devotional tract. My dilemma about how to persuade my wife to leave was solved when she mentioned leaving before I did.

  17. DetJohn says:

    It really distresses me when a priest or a deacon does not lead devotionals. The so called Living Stations lead by lay members is almost meaningless.

    Most Friday evening services, during Lent, that I attend are the St. Alphonse Liguori stations. Some locations have a modified version of Liguori stations.

    Last Friday, I attended the stations at a Maronite Parish. The Liguori version was used. The stations were lead by the Parish Priest and a Deacon. They alternated leading the stations between them.
    Instead of genuflecting they went to a kneeling position and remained so until after the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. Standing again while singing between the stations.

    Last Saturday, I attended Mass and stations with the Arab Catholics of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. It was basically the same as the Maronites, The big difference was that a different person from the congregation (small children to the elderly) was standing in front of each station. When the each station was pronounced, the person at the station held the processing crucifix during time of that station.

    There is so much to see…

  18. My friends and I made this Stations of the Cross video for the internet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y878Tmmn4g8

  19. retiredtobedlam says:

    If you visit http://www.sacredartseries.blogspot.com you will find the audio of Father Z reading the Alphonse Ligouri Station (plus Latin chant) associated with a series of beautiful Station paintings from a church in San Francisco. Using a laptop and projector these can be projected on a screen, or in our case, the wall above the choir area (in front, adjacent to the sacristy). Thanks Father Z & Will Bloomfield..

  20. Hans says:

    In my parish we use “Everyone’s Way of the Cross” by Clarence Enzler in both English and Spanish. It’s moving in its 1970’s ‘here’s how it pertains to you’ emotional sort of way, but I’ve never found it very memorable. This year, since I’m teaching Friday evenings, I haven’t been involved in leading any of the Stations, so I don’t really recall much more about it.

  21. Nan says:

    From AMG910s list, the Liturgical Press Way of the Cross from an old Latin version. I was a bit surprised that it was Father alone leading, with no altar actual boys and no procession cross.

  22. Wiktor says:

    It seems I’ve attended a “Way of the Cross” that was in contradiction with the abovementioned requirements. It was in a form of outdoor procession with designated “stops”, but no physical stations at those stops. There was only one big cross, and people were taking turns in carrying it.

  23. Imrahil says:

    For those belonging to Eastern Rites, among whom this pious exercise is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can determine some other pious exercise in memory of the Passion and Death of our Lord

    or, of course, they can just choose to practice it.

  24. Semper Gumby says:

    Amen.

  25. jameeka says:

    Thank you Fr Z. I just prayed the new stations for priests you recorded from Silverstream Priory. It’s brief, manly, holy, and hopeful. Good one, and will help us better pray for priests.

  26. Gabriel Syme says:

    Thank you for promoting the Way of the Cross Father, and for the detailed info. I did the Stations this evening at Church, using St. Alphonsus Ligouri version.

    I only ever recall doing the Stations once in my youth and – typically for the period (80s) – wasn’t really sure what we were doing, or why. And so the Stations are another treasure I have discovered since finding my way to tradition.

    I was interested to learn that its the cross at each Station which is important and – while customary – a picture is ultimately optional. (I had always thought the picture was the important part!).

    I also found this link interesting (perhaps in a geeky kind of way) as it discusses the cross at each Station – its size and what it can be made of etc.

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/Liturgy/zlitur210.htm

  27. TWF says:

    Imrahil:
    They could… yet the Church (Second Vatican Council, Pope St. John Paul II, etc.) has strongly encouraged Eastern Catholics to retain the integrity of their own noble traditions. The Stations has not organically arisen in an Eastern context.

  28. Imrahil says:

    Dear TWF,

    and that was right in so far as they should not be forced to Latin traditions, nor they made part of their equivalent of the Sunday duty, etc.

    However, just as wrong as it were to do so, just as wrong (maybe not equally so; maybe just “almost as wrong”, but you get the idea) it would be to actually put effort in keeping them away from noble devitions having no direct equivalent in their own tradition, be it the Stations of the Cross or be it, vice versa, something like the Akathist.

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