For the past few years on Good Friday, I’ve participated in the annual tradition of praying the steps at Holy Cross Immaculata in Cincinnati.
This 150-year-old tradition dates back to when the church was first built in 1860.
When Do You “Pray the Steps?”
Visitors come anytime between midnight on Holy Thursday until midnight on Good Friday.
The lines tend to be longer during the daytime with less crowds later in the evening. Parking is available on the streets nearby.
(Make sure that you use your emergency brake because the streets in Mt. Adams have steep inclines.)
The church is located on top of Mt. Adams and offers beautiful view of the city of Cincinnati day or night.
I’m not Catholic but I liked the idea of carving out some time in my day to focus on the meaning of Good Friday.
I’ve also been curious about why individuals and families make this ritual an annual tradition each year.
Why is This an Annual Tradition?
You can learn more about the pilgrimage to Immaculata in the video below.
How Long is the Wait to Pray the Steps?
I waited in line for about 45 minutes before reaching the base of the steps.
While in line, I observed lots of families who made this an annual tradition together. I also chatted with individuals who also were not Catholic, but really enjoyed the experience and came back annually.
Everyone in line was very friendly and some even offered food to others who were nearby in line.
At the base of the stairs, I was given a paper that goes through Stations of the Cross and a rosary cross necklace.
Visitors pray silently on each stair. I took the time to pray for family, friends, and anything else that came to mind.
If you visit during the day, take a few moments to visit the inside of the church which is beautiful too.
I really enjoyed taking part in a tradition that so many people from all of the US look forward to each year. You can find out more about this tradition from the church’s website.
Holy Cross Immaculata Parish is located at 30 Guido Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
You can find out more about Holy Cross Immaculata from their website.
2 thoughts on “A Good Friday Tradition Worth Checking Out”
Whenever I read you, it’s like a mini-vacation for me. Thanks for the post and keep posting.
I happen to come across your site looking at pics of Holy Cross Immaculata Church. I enjoyed reading your comments and looking at your pics of the Good Friday tradition of “Praying the Steps”. I am not from the area but found out about the tradition and have been attending it the past 5 years and love it.
I noticed that you said you weren’t Catholic and also noticed in one of your pics that you mentioned being given a paper and a cross necklace. As a Catholic, I thought that I could help explain a couple of things. The paper is separate information from the “necklace”. The paper is information on the Stations of the Cross. This is a meditation on Jesus’ passion. You can find these 14 “stations” in just about every Catholic Church, usually inside the Church but on the outside wall. Here is one site to help explain a little more.
Also, the “necklace” that you were given is actually a rosary and is used as intercessory prayers to Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and is used as contemplative prayer on the life of Jesus and Mary. I can give you some info on how to use the rosary for prayer.