Praying the steps

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Even before midnight, people began gathering at the foot of Mount Adams to participate in a Good Friday tradition dating back to the late 1860s: praying the steps. 

An estimated 8-10,000 people are expected to climb the stairs up the side of Mount Adams to Holy Cross-Immaculata.  Some pray, some read the Bible, and some meditate.

Church historian Jim Steiner says it's not limited to Catholics.  “It’s a spiritual experience,” he says.  “You don’t have to be Catholic to be spiritual.  You don’t even have to be religious to be spiritual.”

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

An annual Good Friday tradition is underway in Mt. Adams.

At midnight, Bishop Joseph Binzer blessed the steps of Holy Cross - Immaculata church and the annual praying of the steps began.

Thousands of people will spend a portion of this Good Friday in prayer and reflection, slowly climbing the steps leading up to the church.

It's a tradition that dates back more than 150 years.