Easter in Rome: Via Crucis returns to Colosseum for Good Friday

Way of the Cross ceremony was last held at Colosseum in 2019.

The Vatican will resume the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross ceremony led by Pope Francis at the Colosseum on Good Friday for the first time in two years as Italy begins to lift its covid-19 restrictions.

The candle-lit procession, which will take place at 21.15 on 15 April, returns to the Colosseum after the last two editions of the solemn event were held in St Peter's Square minus crowds.

The annual tradition - which dates to the 18th century and was revived in 1964 - usually attracts around 20,000 faithful who listen to meditations re-enacting Christ's crucifixion.

Each year the pope assigns the meditations and prayers accompanying the Stations of the Cross to a group, association or individuals: last year it was children from scout groups and parishes in Rome; in 2020 it was prisoners in Padua.

This year Pope Francis has chosen families linked to Catholic communities and associations for voluntary work and assistance, the Vatican press office announced last week.

There are no tickets required for the Via Crucis which is part of the Vatican's liturgical programme for Holy Week or Settimana Santa.

The Easter Vigil Mass takes place in St Peter's Basilica at 19.30 on Saturday, with Easter Sunday Mass celebrated in St Peter's Square at 10.00, followed by the pope's traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing at midday.

In preparation for the Via Crucis, access is currently closed to the terrace of the Temple of Venus and Roma and the Baths of Elagabalus in the Roman Forum.

The temporary closure is necessary to set up the equipment required to film the event which will be broadcast by RAI Uno from 21.00 on 15 April.

The Colosseum will close at 15.00 on Friday.

Cover image: Via Crucis at the Colosseum in 2019. Photo credit: AM113 / Shutterstock.com.

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Address Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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Easter in Rome: Via Crucis returns to Colosseum for Good Friday

Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy