Easter in Rome


Easter in Rome: Via Crucis ceremony at Colosseum on Good Friday

Way of the Cross at Colosseum in 2023.

The annual Via Crucis or Way of the Cross ceremony led by Pope Francis will take place at the Colosseum on Good Friday, 7 April, at 21.15.

The candle-lit procession – which dates to the 18th century and was revived in 1964 – attracts thousands of 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 the Vatican chose families linked to Catholic communities and associations for voluntary work, with a controversy breaking out after the 13th station was assigned jointly to a Ukrainian and a Russian family.

There are no tickets required for the Via Crucis which is part of the pontiff’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 to the terrace of the Temple of Venus and Roma will be closed from 29 March until 8 April, and the Baths of Elagabalus from 30 March to 8 April. Both sites are located in the Roman Forum directly opposite the Colosseum.

The temporary closure, announced by Parco Archeologico del Colosseo, is necessary to set up the equipment required to film the event which will be broadcast by RAI Uno from 21.00 on 7 April.

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