Detail of the Mary window in the choir loft of our church.

This centuries-old religious poem and meditation on suffering and redemption is strongly associated with Our Lady of Sorrows and Mary’s experience of the death of her Son, Jesus, on the Cross. The hymn Stabat Mater Dolorosa, translated as “At the Cross, Her Station Keeping,” as been set to music by Haydn, Pergolesi, Verdi, Vivaldi, and others, and is also used in devotional practice during the Stations of the Cross during Lent and on Good Friday.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

CELEBRANT: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

I. At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

II. Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed.

III. Oh, how sad and sore distressed,
Was that Mother, highly blest,
Of the sole begotten One!

IV. Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

V. Is there one who would not weep,
’Whelmed in miseries so deep
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

VI . Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother’s pain untold?

VII. Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

VIII. For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His spirit forth He sent.

IX. O thou Mother! Fount of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

X. Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

XI. Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

XII. Let me share with you His pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

XIII. Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourned for me
All the days that I may live.

XIV. By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
This I ask of you to give.

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