Has the format for stations of the cross been changed?

I was listening to an audio recording from the US conference of bishops of the stations of the cross. I noticed that they did not pray the our father, Hail Mary or glory be prayers between stations. I thought that was strange because in confirmation class in 2004 we were taught to say them at each station. I did an Internet search for videos of the stations of the cross. I found in most of the videos the prayers were not performed at each station either.

Has the format of the stations of the cross been changed? What is the proper way to pray stations of the cross now?
Thank you and God bless!

Since the stations are not a liturgy, so there no set way it should be done. There are a variety of traditions. There are also two sets of stations, the more common is the one you are use to but Blessed John Paul II introduced a different on with added and deleted stations.
Don’t worry so much about what is the right form, the idea is to pray and in that prayer to transform ourselves to more fully Christ’s teaching.
Dcn Frank


This text might help in the discussion





It is an official Decree of the Congregation, approved by Bl John Paul II

  1. The Via Crucis is a synthesis of various devotions that have arisen since the high middle ages: the pilgrimage to the Holy Land during which the faithful devoutly visit the places associated with the Lord’s Passion; devotion to the three falls of Christ under the weight of the Cross; devotion to “the dolorous journey of Christ” which consisted in processing from one church to another in memory of Christ’s Passion; devotion to the stations of Christ, those places where Christ stopped on his journey to Calvary because obliged to do so by his executioners or exhausted by fatigue, or because moved by compassion to dialogue with those who were present at his Passion.

In its present form, the Via Crucis, widely promoted by St. Leonardo da Porto Maurizio (+1751), was approved by the Apostolic See and indulgenced, consists of fourteen stations since the middle of seventeenth century.

  1. The Via Crucis is a journey made in the Holy Spirit, that divine fire which burned in the heart of Jesus (cf. Lk 12, 49-50) and brought him to Calvary. This is a journey well esteemed by the Church since it has retained a living memory of the words and gestures of the final earthly days of her Spouse and Lord.

In the Via Crucis, various strands of Christian piety coalesce: the idea of life being a journey or pilgrimage; as a passage from earthly exile to our true home in Heaven; the deep desire to be conformed to the Passion of Christ; the demands of following Christ, which imply that his disciples must follow behind the Master, daily carrying their own crosses (cf Lk 9, 23).

The Via Crucis is a particularly apt pious exercise for Lent.

  1. The following may prove useful suggestions for a fruitful celebration of the Via Crucis:

the traditional form of the Via Crucis, with its fourteen stations, is to be retained as the typical form of this pious exercise; from time to time, however, as the occasion warrants, one or other of the traditional stations might possibly be substituted with a reflection on some other aspects of the Gospel account of the journey to Calvary which are traditionally included in the Stations of the Cross;

alternative forms of the Via Crucis have been approved by Apostolic See(138) or publicly used by the Roman Pontiff(139): these can be regarded as genuine forms of the devotion and may be used as occasion might warrant;

the Via Crucis is a pious devotion connected with the Passion of Christ; it should conclude, however, in such fashion as to leave the faithful with a sense of expectation of the resurrection in faith and hope; following the example of the Via Crucis in Jerusalem which ends with a station at the Anastasis, the celebration could end with a commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection.

  1. Innumerable texts exist for the celebration of the Via Crucis. Many of them were compiled by pastors who were sincerely interested in this pious exercise and convinced of its spiritual effectiveness. Texts have also been provided by lay authors who were known for their exemplary piety, holiness of life, doctrine and literary qualities.

Bearing in mind whatever instructions might have been established by the bishops in the matter, the choice of texts for the Via Crucis should take a count of the condition of those participating in its celebration and the wise pastoral principle of integrating renewal and continuity. It is always preferable to choose texts resonant with the biblical narrative and written in a clear simple style.

The Via Crucis in which hymns, silence, procession and reflective pauses are wisely integrated in a balanced manner, contribute significantly to obtaining the spiritual fruits of the pious exercise.

Oh I see that explains it. Thank you very much for all the interesting information. God bless!

Thank you for all of this important information. God bless!

One of the most beautiful forms of the Stations of the Cross I know of is “Everyone’s Way of the Cross”. The stations are the traditional 14, but this format uses modern meditations in a format where Christ speaks and we reply to Him. It talks about how we can integrate the Way of the Cross into our everyday life, and this is emphasized particularly in the opening and closing - at the opening, Christ says to us, “My life was not complete until I crowned it by My death. Your fourteen steps will only be complete when you have crowned them by your life”, and at the conclusion, He says, “Go! Take up your cross, and by your life, complete your way”.

Our parish uses the St. Alphonsus Liguori version as modified in 1965 by Rome. (Tan Press, publishers).

When I’m alone during the week I use the one from my Angelus Press missal, which is the old version of the Liguorian stations.

I have heard so many different versions of the Stations that I finally just settled on the old one. Mainly because I like it and am comfortable with it.

I’ve never been to any stations of the cross that had the “Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be” in between stations.

I did, back in school. Admittedly, the meditations were shorter.

The ones printed by Catholic Book Publishing using the text of St Alphonsus Liguori have that printed after each Station. catholicbookpublishing.com/products/389

At my own parish, when we have Mass first, then Stations, we do not do those prayers, but when we do Stations alone (especially on Good Friday) then we do them. It’s a time issue.

What I’ve experienced in other parishes is “sometimes yes, sometimes no.”

We’ve been using meditation by Blessed John Henry Newman. They only have an Our Father after each station, and an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be at the end (for the intentions of the Pope).

The Way of the Cross by Archbishop Sheen does not have any of the 3 prayers after each station.

There are different meditations that have different parts to them.

My “Stations Rosary” has beads for those three prayers between the stations! It belonged to either my grand aunt or her husband (both long deceased) and I cherish it . . . .

I do the St Alphonsus Liguori version which has those prayers. It was funny because one day I went to do them and there was a lady who must have started about 10-15 minutes after me and she finished before me.

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