The Pontifical North American College

The Roman Station Liturgy

The Roman Station Liturgy

The information in this section comes largely from The Urban Character of Christian Worship, by Rev. John Baldovin, S.J.  Footnotes refer to the pages in his text where further information can be found.

Each year, the North American College follows the ancient tradition of the Roman stational liturgy. All are invited to join us for the celebration of Mass each day.  Using the side bar on the left, you will find the schedule and listing of the churches.  Each page contains a short description and history of each church.  At the bottom of each page, you will find the address of the church, an interactive map marking its location, and a link that provides walking directions from any location in Rome.

Mass will begin each day at 7am, with the exception of Mass on Ash Wednesday which begins at 6:45am. Please note that we do not celebrate either Sunday Mass or the Paschal Triduum at the station churches.

Date Lenten Day Church Map Directions Departure
2/18/2015 Ash Wednesday S. Sabina all’Aventino [Map] 35 min. 5:55 AM
2/19/2015 Thursday S. Giorgio al Velabro [Map] 35 min. 6:15 AM
2/20/2015 Friday Ss. Giovanni e Paolo [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
2/21/2015 Saturday S. Agostino [Map] 20 min. 6:30 AM
2/22/2015 Sunday–WEEK I S. Giovanni in Laterano [Map]
2/23/2015 Monday S. Pietro in Vincoli [Map] 40 min. 6:05 AM
2/24/2015 Tuesday S. Anastasia al Palatino [Map] 35 min. 6:15 AM
2/25/2015 Wednesday S. Maria Maggiore [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
2/26/2015 Thursday S. Lorenzo in Panisperna [Map] 40 min. 6:10 AM
2/27/2015 Friday Ss. Dodici Apostoli [Map] 30 min. 6:25 AM
2/28/2015 Saturday S. Pietro in Vaticano [Map] 10 min. 6:40 AM
3/1/2015 Sunday–WEEK II S. Maria in Domnica [Map]
3/2/2015 Monday S. Clemente [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
3/3/2015 Tuesday S. Balbina all’Aventino [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
3/4/2015 Wednesday S. Cecilia in Trastevere [Map] 30 min. 6:20 AM
3/5/2015 Thursday S. Maria in Trastevere [Map] 20 min. 6:30 AM
3/6/2015 Friday S. Vitale [Map] 40 min. 6:10 AM
3/7/2015 Saturday Ss. Pietro e Marcellino [Map] 55 min. 6:00 AM
3/8/2015 Sunday–WEEK III S. Lorenzo Fuori le Mura [Map]
3/9/2015 Monday S. Marco al Campidoglio [Map] 30 min. 6:20 AM
3/10/2015 Tuesday S. Pudenziana al Viminale [Map] 40 min. 6:10 AM
3/11/2015 Wednesday S. Sisto
Celebrated this year at Sant’Andrea della Valle
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 00186 Roma, Italia
Departure at 6:30am
[Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
3/12/2015 Thursday Ss. Cosma e Damiano [Map] 40 min. 6:15 AM
3/13/2015 Friday S. Lorenzo in Lucina [Map] 25 min. 6:25 AM
3/14/2015 Saturday S. Susanna
Celebrated this year at Santa Maria della Vittoria
Via XX Settembre, 17, 00187 Roma, Italia
Departure time unchanged
[Map] 45 min. 6:05 AM
3/15/2015 Sunday–WEEK IV S. Croce in Gerusalemme [Map]
3/16/2015 Monday Ss. Quattro Coronati [Map] 50 min. 6:00 AM
3/17/2015 Tuesday S. Lorenzo in Damaso [Map] 20 min. 6:30 AM
3/18/2015 Wednesday S. Paolo fuori le Mura [Map] 1 hr. 10 min. 5:45 AM
3/19/2015 Thursday Ss. Silvestro e Martino [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
3/20/2015 Friday S. Eusebio all’Esquilino [Map] 55 min. 6:00 AM
3/21/2015 Saturday S. Nicola in Carcere [Map] 30 min. 6:25 AM
3/22/2015 Sunday–WEEK V S. Pietro in Vaticano [Map]
3/23/2015 Monday S. Crisogono in Trastevere [Map] 25 min. 6:25 AM
3/24/2015 Tuesday S. Maria in via Lata [Map] 30 min. 6:25 AM
3/25/2015 Wednesday S. Marcello al Corso [Map] 30 min. 6:25 AM
3/26/2015 Thursday S. Apollinare [Map] 20 min. 6:30 AM
3/27/2015 Friday S. Stefano Rotondo [Map] 55 min. 6:05 AM
3/28/2015 Saturday S. Giovanni a Porta Latina [Map] 1 hr. 5:55 AM
3/29/2015 Palm Sunday S. Giovanni in Laterano [Map]
3/30/2015 Monday S. Prassede all’Esquilino [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM
3/31/2015 Tuesday S. Prisca all’Aventino [Map] 40 min. 6:00 AM
4/1/2015 Wednesday S. Maria Maggiore [Map] 50 min. 6:05 AM

Audio guides to the Roman Station Churches can be downloaded through The PNAC Station Church Podcast.

Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches by George Weigel with Elizabeth Lev and Stephen Weigel provides reflections as well as historical commentaries on this ancient tradition. It is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes&Noble and IndieBound.

History

Our modern observance of the stational liturgy traces its roots back to the practice of the Bishop of Rome celebrating the liturgies of the church year at various churches throughout the city, a tradition dating back as far as the late second or early third century.  One reason for this was practical: with the church in Rome being composed of diverse groups from many cultures, regular visits by the bishop served to unify the various groups into a more cohesive whole.  Another reason, particularly following the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313 which permitted public worship, was to commemorate certain feast days at churches with a special link to that celebration.  Therefore, Good Friday came to be celebrated at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and Christmas at St. Mary Major, where a relic of the manger was venerated.  In time, the original churches in the city, known as tituli (sing. titulus) because they often bore the name of the donor, took on an additional significance as the places that held the relics of the martyrs and the memory of the early history of the church in this city.1

As time passed the schedule of these visits, which had earlier followed an informal order, took on a more formalized structure.  By the last half of the fifth century, a fairly fixed calendar was developed, having the order of the places at which the pope would say Mass with the church community on certain days throughout the year.  In the weeks before the beginning of Lent, the three large basilicas outside the walls were visited, forming a ring of prayer around the city before the season of Lent began.  During Lent, the various stations were originally organized so that the Masses were held in different areas of the city each day.  During the octave of Easter the stations form a litany of the saints, beginning with St. Mary Major on Easter Sunday and continuing with St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Lawrence, the Apostles, and the martyrs.2

The liturgy of these Masses had several elements, many of which developed over time.  According to the structure of the late first millennium, the people would gather in mid-afternoon with the pope at one church, known as the collectum.  There, after some prayers, the group would move in procession to the statio, at which Mass would be said.  The use of the term statio for this ending point has a connection with the practice of fasting on these days.  The Christians of this time made a comparison of their fasting and prayer during Lent with the guard duty of soldiers, seeing their actions as something to be approached with a similar seriousness of purpose.  The term statio came to be applied to the Eucharistic celebrations that took place on fast days.  Later the term came to be used for all churches at which the major liturgical celebration in the city was to be held on a certain day.3

The order of the stations, originally organized in the fifth century, would undergo several changes over the following three centuries.  The current order was essentially fixed by the time of the Council of Trent.  Over the last several centuries, two of the original stations have been lost, although most older liturgical books still list their name as the station for their original day.  The church of St. Augustine has taken the place of St. Tryphon, an older church which once stood on a nearby site.  The second lost church is that of St. Cyriacus, which originally stood near the Baths of Diocletian.  Having fallen into ruin, its stational day was transferred to Santa Maria in Via Lata, possibly because a monastery, also dedicated to St. Cyriacus, once stood behind this church.  The other churches have not passed the centuries without their difficulties either: many have been destroyed and rebuilt; some fell into ruins, being saved only when on the verge of final collapse; all have been modified in various ways throughout the ages.  Yet what remains through all the changes is the memory of those past Christians who worshiped at these places.  While other cities, such as Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Milan once had similar stational liturgies, Rome is the only city in which these continue in some regular form.  Therefore, just like the writings of the Fathers of the Church and the art of the early Christian era, the stational cycle comes down to us as a monument of the early church, a living connection to those days when the witness of the martyrs was still fresh and the echo of the apostles’ voices could still be heard in the city’s streets.

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1
Pp. 147-153
2
Pp. 153-158
3
Pp. 143-144; 161-162


View Station Churches of Rome in a larger map

Video

Rome Reports posted a short piece on the station churches.  You may enjoy the video below.

3 Responses to The Roman Station Liturgy

  1. Michael Martini says:

    Thank you for this wonderdul resource. I am wondering if you could include other mass Times at each of these churches on their respective day. Thank you!

  2. […] it has become the practice of the North American College to “host” the English speaking stational churches liturgies. Each day Mass is also […]

  3. […] If you are planning on making a pilgrimage to Rome at some point during the Lenten season, you may wish to organize your visit so that you can attend Mass at the station churches while you are there.  The Pontifical North American College has a very helpful page with information about Mass time and locations for all the station churches in Rome here. […]