silverstream_via-crucis-priestsHere also are my audio projects of the Way of the Cross.

On 1st Fridays, do please pray the Act of Reparation.

What we need right now is PRAYER, especially now.

And remember to GO TO CONFESSION!

For priests, especially, try 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?  Lay people: pray 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. Alphonsus 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.

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.

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

St. Alphonsus de Liguori with chant

Joseph Ratzinger – 2005 Good Friday at the Colosseum

St. John Henry Newman

Via Crucis For Priests from Silverstream Priory

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Classic Posts, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT, Priests and Priesthood and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  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.

  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.

    Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

    Pr.: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
    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)


    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;

  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.

  19. retiredtobedlam says:

    If you visit 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:


  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.

  27. TWF says:

    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.

  29. majuscule says:

    Last year I gave a copy of Silverstream’s Way of the Cross for Priests to each of my parish priests. I wanted them to know we are praying for them–whether they personally use it or not.

  30. JesusFreak84 says:

    I have Angelus Press’ book of Stations, and it’s very nice! I think some of the chapters are stronger than others, but only one would feel “foreign” to OF-attending Catholics. My UGCC missal also has meditations on the Stations; I suspect Father had in mind mixed-rite families where the Eastern Rite Catholic may be making Stations with Roman Rite family members, etc. (Half of the parish I attended is Roman, no joke, and most of those were at the UGCC parish because they married a Ukrainian Catholic.)

  31. APX says:

    That’s a no-nonsense Way of the Cross. I’m not sure my faith is strong enough to pray, “Prove me and try me, O Lord. Test my heart and my mind.” God seems quite enthralled to take me up on such offers. Prayer should come with a disclaimer warning those to be careful what they ask God for because He might just give it to you.

    I have a version that’s in a book I recently received from Opus Sanctorum Angelorum (They have a very good Priest/Bishop adoption program and a lot of free/low cost prayer resources for praying and offering sacrifices/penance for the sanctification of priests and bishops. I have two priests and a bishop whom were assigned to me.), called “Pray for the Sanctification of Priests” which contains a Holy Hour with prayers specifically geared towards priests, along with Rosary Meditations for priests, novena for priests and the Way of the Cross for Priests.

  32. APX says:

    I forgot to mention, one way I have found helpful in praying the Stations more frequently throughout the week was to purchase a small set of Stations, get them blessed, and hanged them throughout my suite. I got mine from the Leaflet Missal Store here:

  33. Semper Gumby says:

    Thank you majuscule, JesusFreak84, and APX. Thanks Fr. Z for reposting this audio.

  34. James in Perth says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Fr. Z, and for sharing a note on the practices of the Eastern churches. In this Fifth Week of Great Lent, the Byzantine Catholic Church will have the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. And on Friday we have the Akathist Hymn followed by Great Vespers.

    This will be my first go around with the Canon of St. Andrew. Father mentioned that there are 150 prostrations so we are breaking it into two services: Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. I will be sure to remember you in my intentions.

  35. That Guy says:

    Thanks so much for posting these, Fr. Z! We were on our way from Virginia to Delaware on Friday Evening for my niece’s Saturday Confirmation. There was a horrible accident that had us stuck, not moving for an hour. Fortunately I remembered this post, and we listened to Ligouri (w/chant) as a family. We typically attend stations at our parish after Friday Soup Suppers, so this was a very good option to have while we were on the road!

  36. Nix89 says:

    Hello Fr Z and all here. I’m new to this site, very enjoyable and informative, and this is post No. 1.
    As to Stations, I have prayed them on my own here and abroad for a long time. Also do the parish Lenten observance on Fridays. A nearby parish has for a number of years done them as a Lenten exercise for its Confirmation class. The young people do tableaux (?) Of each one with narration. Minimal props, plain dark clothing. They travel to surrounding parishes and perform all during Lent. Some people find it very moving. I know one priest who thought it was theatrics that should not take place in the church. It is reverent but I see his point too.
    A fruitful Lent to all.

  37. Unwilling says:

    The unusual quantity and pious quality of the comments to this post are inspiring.

  38. jaykay says:

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

    Given that it’s subtitled, it might just comprise “pious reading” but since one is necessarily drawn to the moving images, and the sound, maybe not so, in the pure sense of meditation. I’d probably agree with Imrahil there, unless one turned down the sound-track and just used it as a succession of images on which to meditate?

    Then again, think of the TLM where, if one doesn’t understand Latin, one concentrates on the action and meditates/prays/enters into meditation. O.k., given that a film isn’t the Mass, obviously, I think it might be a good second to a pious meditation.

    But the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary is better!

  39. Gab says:

    But Father! But, Father! You forgot to mention the other indulgence … From the Manual of Indulgences, 4th edition 2006, USCCB:

    §1 A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who
    1° receive Holy Communion for the first time or devoutly assist at the first Holy
    Communion of others;
    2° on any of the Fridays of Lent devoutly recite after Communion the prayer En ego, O
    bone et dulcissime Iesu before a crucifix.”

    And thank you for the different renditions you posted for the Stations of the Cross.

  40. Father:

    This post got me thinking about something that came to mind the other day; I hope you don’t mind if I share it here. I was in the confessional — we have a lot of time for confessions in my parish, about six hours a week, and more in Lent — and, as you can appreciate, sometimes it’s busy, and other times, I’m sitting with the Lord, praying or thinking.

    As my confessional is arranged, there is a large crucifix on the wall to my left hand. It happens to be the same crucifix we use for Good Friday. It is placed primarily for the benefit of penitents, yet I cannot help looking at it, whether I am praying or listening to someone’s confession.

    The other day it struck me: being in the confessional, for the priest, is a special sort of participation in the Cross. For one, I am there for one reason: the sins of others. And while I am there, that is the main thing I deal with, of course. I am forced to confront sin, to listen to it, think about it, and try to offer something to those who come to be rid of theirs. And this is wearying. The other week, I had a cold, with the result that my voice was rough and I was concerned that it would give out before I got through the weekend. At such moments, I wish I could just avoid talking; but I cannot. Other times, I just get tired of sitting in the box. Sometimes it’s chilly and my hands ache; in summer it can get quite warm, and the only expedient is to keep the outer door wide open and run a fan. Of course, none of this is so awful, but — when I think about the discomfort, I look up: and there is our Lord on the Cross.

    Naturally, of course, there are times I wish I could cut it short. I watch the clock; when it’s very close to the ending time, I begin to get ready to go, either to offer Mass, or go to some other duty, or else go home. Again, I was thinking the other day: no doubt our Lord wanted his time to wrap up, too! I pray to be patient.

    Many times I listen to people confess, and I think: what can I say? Maybe I am concerned about the line, and the time; other times, I am simply clueless and don’t want to prattle on if I haven’t got any good insight. Very often, I repeat the same retread “wisdom,” hoping there’s something good in it, but wondering. And I confess, sometimes I am tired and I figure, “just keep things moving.”

    Well, I suppose I’m prattling on now, too. But at any rate, it was quite a wonderful thing to consider these connections to the Cross. I am glad for anything that will count in my favor on Judgment Day.

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  42. Gab says:

    Beautiful Stations of the Cross today using the Bl. John Henry Newman Meditations (for obvious reason) and lead by an amazing Bishop Emertius, whose homily at the 3pm Commemoration of the Passion and Death of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ would have made Father Z, Cdl Robert Sarah, Fr Ripperger, Bp Schneider and BXVI smile! His Lordship is 89 years of age and rather frail in body but my oh my! his voice and his mind both clear and functioning very very well. God bless him!

  43. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    I need to redownload the scriptural way of the cross. There are a few apps available. I like the one Via Crucis. I just wish it came with an audio. I tried the papal one this year. I got to halfway through the second station. I have watched the last two years. Sorry, but can we actually speak of the death of Christ. Amazon has Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” on Amazon Prime.

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  45. Fr. Reader says:

    I’m few years late for this post.

    I find the Passions of Bach a very good way to approach this liturgical season. Just by listening to them or to accompany the reading of a book. They are not the cheerful kind of music we see in Bach in other pieces.

  46. Thomas says:

    Two masses today. This morning votive mass of the Sacred Heart with prayer of reparation afterwards. This evening mass of the Friday after Ash Wednesday, Reparation after, followed by the Stations of the Cross. For many years we have used the St. Ligouri prayers. Both priests heard confessions before mass. I didn’t go to mass this morning, but the evening mass was packed for both mass and stations. I do not recall ever having this many people since we became a parish of the diocese in 2007. We are so grateful for our hard-working priests who do everything to help us become saints. God bless them!

  47. Discipula says:

    When I tried following the link for the Way of the Cross for Priests I got a 404 page; however, I did find the book here:

    Just in case anyone else was looking for it.

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