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Two Of Cincinnati's Good Friday Traditions Continue

praying of the steps
Tana Weingartner
Thousands will climb the Holy Cross-Immaculata steps in Mt. Adams this Good Friday. (Image from 2013)

The annual Praying of the Steps is underway in Mt. Adams on this Good Friday. Thousands are expected at Holy Cross-Immaculata Church to reflect on Jesus' betrayal, arrest, persecution and crucifixion.

The Holy Cross-Immaculata event began at midnight Thursday and will continue into Friday night. In it, parishioners climb the church's outdoor steps, stopping one-by-one to pray, a tradition that dates back to 1860.

The church has three locations where people can choose to begin their journey: the upper steps, beginning on St. Gregory Street just below the church entrance; the middle steps, which begin on Columbia Parkway; and the lower steps, which begin on Riverside Drive across from Montgomery Inn Boathouse. 

Parish parishioners will serve doughnuts and coffee from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and LaRosa's cheese pizza slices (it is Good Friday, after all) from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The church will then host a traditional fish fry from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., with services taking place at 2:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. 

In a different remembrance, the "Way of the Cross for Justice" begins at noon in Washington Park. Executive Director of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center Allison Reynolds-Berry says the walk is usually through Downtown to the Freedom Center, but had to be changed because of the Reds switching their opening game from Thursday to Friday due to weather.

"There have been times in the past when we have moved for each of these different presentations or stations, some people refer to them but this year especially, given the need for the change of location, everything will just take place on the main stage in Washington Park." 

Reynolds-Berry says it's a prayerful experience connecting the suffering of Jesus to the suffering that exists in many areas of social justice.