Traditional Vs Scriptural Stations of the Cross

I need some advice please. I want to purchase a Stations of the Cross book for my wife and I. I noticed that there are scriptural and traditional stations of the Cross. When searching amazon, I came across one scriptural stations book that heaped scorn on people who observe the traditional stations. I then read a line on the USCCB’s website that said Pope JP2 introduced the scriptural stations as a way to more fully delve into JESUS’ passion. Am I missing something here? I don’t remember Father Kennelley telling me during my catechesis classes when I was a teenager that the Traditional stations weren’t as good as or as reverent as the scriptural stations. Would I be correct to assume that there are some Catholics who want to take the rest of us down the sola scriptura path? I’m a Roman Catholic Christian, not a Protestant Christian. Our faith encompasses both Scripture & Tradition. I would be most grateful for some advice and guidance in this matter. GOD bless all for their help on this one.

JPII did write a scriptural stations of the cross. It was nearly the same as a traditional stations except he did change a few stations to correspond with the Gospel telling of the scriptures. My parish uses Every one’s way of the cross, a contemporary stations of the cross, not JPII’s version. There are a number of booklets that offer the traditional stations and similar meditations/responses. Choose a version that you feel comfortable praying.

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There have been various versions of the stations across times and places until they mostly coalesced into the traditional 14 we see most often now. No one should heap scorn on someone who practices those or other versions approved by the Church. To receive the plenary indulgence, you have to do a set of 14, but it doesn’t matter which version–you just have to meditate on the passion in some way or another at each station:

EXERCISE OF THE WAY OF THE CROSS. PLENARY INDULGENCE. A Plenary indulgence is granted to those who piously make the Way of the Cross. The gaining of the indulgence is regulated by the following rules:

Must be done before stations of the cross legitimately erected.

14 stations are required. Although it is customary for the icons to represent pictures or images, 14 simple crosses will suffice.

The common practice 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.

A movement from one station to the next is required. But if the stations are made publicly and it is not possible for everyone taking part to go from station to station, it suffices if at least the one conducting the exercise goes from station to station, the others remaining in their places.

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

For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this pious exercise is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can determine some other pious exercise in memory of the Passion and Death for the gaining of this indulgence.

Pope St. John Paul produced the scriptural Stations of the Cross, but he would not have ridiculed the traditional stations, and you should not interpret it that way. There are other versions of the stations also.

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Any Church approved version of the Stations is equally holy, reverent, and orthodox.

Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.


Hi Use a combinations of Traditional Stations of the Cross i have hand written some verses related to the same,if you have the time reading the Scriptures brings to life anew the Passion of Christ as an act of reparation for our sins,Scripture and the Tradition go together they complement each other and therefore very useful and they both ore two sides of the same coin so they cannot be separated.Hope it Helps God Bless

The traditional Stations imitate a devotion that originated in the Holy City itself, something the pilgrims started to do shortly after Constantine erected the Church of the Holy Sepulcre. The devotion as it now stands was fixed by Pope Clement XII, so I don’t know who could deride it.

I think the main thing is to use a version that you will actually use and that seems to help you to meditate on the Passion without distraction the best. You may use something based on the ancient popular devotion approved by the Popes or a version rooted in Holy Scriptures. Either can be edifying, and that is the point.

I believe the Handbook on Indulgences refers to a Stations of the Cross that is “legitimately erected”–that is, documented by the bishop–but I think the norms allow a bishop to allow variations in the exact Stations depicted, too. That has to do with vocal prayer at an officially-erected set of Stations, though, not a private devotion done at home.

Nothing wrong with either.

BTW the Scriptural Stations of the Cross and in NO WAY sola scriptura. They are actually a great way to learn and realized how Christ’s passion was foretold in the Old Testament. It can be a great way to learn more so you can talk with Jewish friends and it’s a way to show Protestants yet another Catholic devotion which is firmly rooted / supported by Scripture.

God Bless

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