Friday has always been a day of special devotion and meditation for Christians, the day Our Blessed Saviour underwent His cruel Passion and Death to redeem Mankind. In Lent – besides the 40 days we dedicate to fasting, penance and sacrifice in preparation for the Easter Triduum – Fridays take on a particular significance. It is the day when we reflect in greater detail every step of agony Our dear Saviour took for our sake, as He made His way under the weight of the Cross to Golgotha. (Today it also happens to be a First Friday, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!)
As early as the 4th century, Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land would walk the route that Our Lord walked to His Crucifixion. When Muslims captured Jerusalem and it became too dangerous to make this pilgrimage, Christians replicated the sites back home in Europe, and there developed the “Stations of the Cross” devotion (also known as “Way of the Cross,” “Via Dolorosa,” or “Via Crucis“).
There are many beautiful audio recordings of The Stations of the Cross for those who may be unable to attend a Catholic Church where they are usually celebrated on Fridays during Lent. This one by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori is one of my favourites. There is also this lovely version for those who prefer to read and meditate a while at each station.