A sequence (i.e. liturgical poem located
after the "Alleluia") that was once sung
by Catholics at Mass on the Friday
before Palm Sunday and on September
15, because on those days the Seven
Sorrows of Mary are Celebrated. Through
the centuries many composers have set
it to music.

The beginning is often translated into
English as follows:
"At the Cross, her station keeping/
Stood the mournful mother weeping/
Close by Jesus to the last."

Here is the full Latin text of the sequence Stabat Mater, known in English as At the Cross her Station Keeping.

Stabat mater dolorosa
Iuaxta crucem lacrimosa
Dum pendebat filius;
Cuius animam gementem
Contristantem et dolentem
Pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa denedicta
Mater Unigeniti!
Quae maerebat et dolebat
Pia mater dum videbat
Nati poenas incliti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio?
Quis non posset contristarsi
Christi matri contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit Iesum in tormentis
Et flagellis subditum.
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
Morientem, desolatum,
Dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, mater, fons amoris,
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.
Fac ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum,
Ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.
Tui Nati vulnerati
Tam dignati pro me pati
Poenas mecum divide.

Fac te mecum pie flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
Donec ego vixero.
Iuxta crucem tecum stare
Et me tibi sociare
In planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara
Mihi iam non sis amara:
Fac me tecum plangere.
Fac ut portem Christi mortem,
Passionis fac consortem
Et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
Fac me cruce inebriari
Et cruore Filii.
Flammis ne urar succensus
Per te, Virgo, sim defensus
I die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
Da per matrem me venire
Ad palmam victoriae.
Quando corpus morietur,
Fac ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria. Amen.
Everything Hymnal
English. Translation by Fr. Edward Caswall(1814-1878):

AT, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent:

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

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of the to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.


Sta"bat Ma"ter (?). [L., the mother was standing.]

A celebrated Latin hymn, beginning with these words, commemorating the sorrows of the mother of our Lord at the foot of the cross. It is read in the Mass of the Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, and is sung by Catholics when making "the way of the cross" (Via Crucis). See Station, 7 (c).


© Webster 1913.

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