Stabat Mater

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Mater Dolorosa became an iconic type,
as in this setting by Tiziano (Titian)

Describing the Virgin Mary's witnessing of the Crucifixion, the hymn Stabat Mater dolorosa was well known to all classes by the end of the fourteenth century and inspired a number of imitations. After a period of neglect following the Council of Trent, it was revised and in 1727 assigned as the sequence (in mode 2) for Friday of the fifth week of Lent and the Sorrows of Mary (Sept. 15). A different strophic tune appeared in the 'Mainz Gesangbuch of 1661 and is often heard at Stations of the Cross. Although the aabccb rhyme scheme might suggest 1a, 1b, 2a &c, the verse numbering 1-20 is found in the [Liber usualis]] and other books.

The Stabat Mater dolorosa is thought to originate from Franciscan sources in the 13th century. The Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi (ca. 1230-1306), Pope Innocentius III (ca. 1160-1216), and saint Bonaventura (died 1274) are named as the most probable poet, but also the Popes Gregorius and John XII and Bernhard of Clairveaux (died 1135) are mentioned. Of these ascriptions, the only probable ones are those to Innocent III and Jacopone.

Stabat Mater speciosa is a Christmas counterpart version of the poem, which describes the joy of Maria at the cradle of Jesus. The text and information about a few settings can be found at Stabat Mater speciosa.

Musical settings at CPDL

Stabat Mater dolorosa (In Latin, unless otherwise indicated)

Other settings possibly not included in the manual list above

Text and translations

Stabat Mater dolorosa in modern books

Latin.png Latin text

1. Stabat Mater dolorosa
Iuxta crucem lacrimosa
Dum pendebat Filius.

2. Cuius animam gementem
Contristatam et dolentem
Pertransivit gladius.

3. O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater unigeniti!

4. Quae moerebat et dolebat,
Pia Mater, dum videbat
Nati poenas incliti.

5. Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio?

6. Quis non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?

7. Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit Iesum in tormentis,
Et flagellis subditum.

8. Vidit suum dulcem natum
Moriendo desolatum
Dum emisit spiritum.

9. Eja Mater, fons amoris
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.

10. Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum
Ut sibi complaceam.

11. Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.

12. Tui nati vulnerati,
Tam dignati pro me pati,
Poenas mecum divide.

13. Fac me tecum, pie, flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
Donec ego vixero.

14. Juxta crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociare
In planctu desidero.

15. Virgo virginum praeclara,
Mihi jam non sis amara
Fac me tecum plangere.

16. Fac, ut portem Christi mortem
Passionis fac consortem,
Et plagas recolere.

17. Fac me plagis vulnerari,
Fac me cruce inebriari,
Et cruore Filii.

18. Flammis ne urar succensus
Per te, Virgo, sim defensus
In die judicii.

19. Fac me cruce custodiri
Morte Christi praemuniri
Confoveri gratia

20. Quando corpus morietur,
Fac, ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria. Amen.
 

English.png English translation

1. At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

2. Through her soul, of joy bereaved,
bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,
now at length the sword hath passed.

3. Oh how sad and sore distressed
was that mother highly blessed,
of the sole-begotten One!

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

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

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

7. Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.

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

9. O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord.

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

11. Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.

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

13. Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourn'd for me,
All the days that I may live.

14. By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.

15. Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine.

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

17. Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd
In His very blood away.

18. Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day.

19. Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defence,
Be Thy cross my victory. [this verse does not translate the Latin v. 19]

20. While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
(tr. Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica 1851)
 

Portuguese.png Portuguese translation

by Father Ricardo Dias Neto
1. De pé, a mãe dolorosa
junto da cruz, lacrimosa,
via o filho que pendia.

2. Na sua alma agoniada
enterrou-se a dura espada
de uma antiga profecia.

3. Oh! Quão triste e quão aflita
entre todas, Mãe bendita,
que só tinha aquele Filho.

4. Quanta angústia não sentia,
Mãe piedosa quando via
as penas do Filho seu!

5. Quem não chora vendo isso:
contemplando a Mãe de Cristo
num suplício tão enorme?

6. Quem haverá que resista
se a Mãe assim se contrista
padecendo com seu Filho?

7. Por culpa de sua gente
vira Jesus inocente
ao flagelo submetido.

8. Vê agora o seu amado
pelo Pai abandonado,
entregando seu espírito.

9. Faze, ó Mãe, fonte de amor
que eu sinta o espinho da dor
para contigo chorar.

10. Faze arder meu coração
do Cristo Deus na paixão
para que o possa agradar.

11. Ó Santa Mãe dá-me isto,
trazer as chagas de Cristo
gravadas no coração.

12. Do teu filho que por mim
entrega-se a morte assim,
divide as penas comigo.

13. Oh! Dá-me enquanto viver
com Cristo compadecer
chorando sempre contigo.

14. Junto à cruz eu quero estar
quero o meu pranto juntar
às lágrimas que derramas.

15. Virgem, que às virgens aclara,
não sejas comigo avara
dá-me contigo chorar.

16. Traga em mim do Cristo a morte,
da Paixão seja consorte,
suas chagas celebrando.

17. Por elas seja eu rasgado,
pela cruz inebriado,
pelo sangue de teu Filho!

18. No Julgamento consegue
que às chamas não seja entregue
quem por ti é defendido.

19. Quando do mundo eu partir
daí-me ó Cristo conseguir,
por vossa Mãe a vitória.

20. Quando meu corpo morrer
possa a alma merecer
do Reino Celeste a glória. Amén.
 

French.png French translation

1. Debout, la mère des douleurs se tenait
En pleurs auprès de la croix
À laquelle son Fils était suspendu.

2. Son âme gémissante,
Contristée et douloureuse,
Fut transpercée d’un glaive.

3. Oh ! qu'elle fut triste et affligée
Cette Mère bénie
Du Fils unique !

4. Elle s’affligeait et souffrait,
Cette tendre Mère en voyant
Les épreuves de son auguste Enfant.

5. Quel homme ne pleurerait
En voyant la Mère du Christ
Endurer si grand supplice ?

6. Qui pourrait, sans profonde tristesse,
Contempler la mère du Christ
Souffrir avec son Fils ?

7. Pour les péchés de ses frères,
Elle vit Jésus livré aux tourments
Et subir la flagellation.

8. Elle vit son doux Enfant
Mourant abandonné,
Lorsqu’il rendit l'esprit.

9. Ô Mère, ô source d’amour,
Laissez-moi ressentir votre douleur
Et pleurer avec vous.

10. Faites que mon cœur brûle
D’amour pour le Christ, mon Dieu,
Et ne songe qu’à lui plaire.

11. Mère sainte, daignez imprimer
Les plaies du Crucifié
Profondément en mon cœur.

12. De votre Enfant blessé
Qui a tant daigné souffrir pour moi
Partagez avec moi les épreuves.

13. Que je pleure avec vous en toute vérité ;
Que je souffre avec le Crucifié
Aussi longtemps que je vivrai.

14. Me tenir avec vous auprès de la Croix
Vous rejoindre librement
Dans les pleurs : tel est mon seul désir.

15. Vierge la plus noble des vierges,
Ne me soyez pas sévère,
Laissez-moi pleurer avec vous.

16. Que je porte en moi la mort du Christ;
Que je partage sa Passion
Et garde le souvenir de ses plaies.

17. Que ses blessures soient miennes;
Que je sois enivré de la Croix
Par amour de votre Fils.

18. Qu’enflammé et ardent
Par vous, ô Vierge, je sois défendu
Au jour du jugement.

19. Que je sois sauvé par la Croix,
Que la mort du Christ soit mon rempart,
Et sa grâce mon réconfort.

20. Et lorsque mon corps devra subir la mort,
Faites que soit accordée à mon âme
La gloire du paradis.
 

Italian.png Italian translation

1. Stava la Madre, addolorata
ai piedi della croce,
in lacrime con il Figlio crocefisso.

2. La sua anima gemente,
triste e addolorata,
fu attraversata da una spada.

3. Quanto triste ed affranta
fu quella donna benedetta,
Madre dell'Unigenito.

4. La quale si affliggeva,
soffriva, e tremava
vedendo le pene del glorioso figlio.

5. Quale uomo non avrebbe pianto,
se avesse visto la Madre di Cristo
in tanto supplizio?

6. Chi non di sarebbe rattristato,
contemplando la Madre di Cristo
in lamenti con il proprio Figlio?

7. Per i peccati della sua stirpe,
vide Gesù tormentato
e sottoposto al flagello.

8. Vide il suo dolce nato morire,
abbandonato,
quando esalò l'ultimo respiro.

9. Orsù, Madre, fonte dell'amore,
fammi provare la forza del tuo dolore
affinché io possa piangere con te.

10. Fa' che il mio cuore si infiammi
nell'amore per Cristo Dio,
affinché possa a Lui piacere.

11. Santa Madre, fa' così:
imprime le piaghe del Crocifisso
saldamente nel mio cuore.

12. Di tuo figlio, trafitto,
degnatosi di tanto patire per me,
dividi con me le pene.

13. Fammi piangere con te,
condividere i dolori del crocefisso,
finché vivrò.

14. Accanto alla croce
stare con te ed a te unirmi
nel pianto desidero.

15. Vergine delle vergini la più insigne,
con me non essere dura,
fammi piangere con te.

16. Fammi partecipe della morte di Cristo,
fammi condividere i suoi patimenti
ed onorare le sue piaghe.

17. Fammi ferire dalle piaghe,
inebriato da questa croce,
per amore di tuo Figlio.

18. Infiammato ed acceso,
per tua intercessione, Vergine,
sia io difeso nel giorno del giudizio.

19. Fa' che sia protetto dalla croce,
fortificato dalla morte di Cristo,
confortato dalla grazia.

20. Quando il corpo morirà,
fa' che all'anima sia donata
la gloria del paradiso. Amen.
 

Stabat Mater dolorosa in Medieval England, as set by John Browne, Richard Davy and William Cornysh)

Latin.png Latin text

1. Stabat Mater dolorosa
Juxta crucem lacrimosa
Dum pendebat Filius.

2. Cujus animam gementem
Contristantem et dolentem
Pertransivit gladius.

3. O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater unigeniti!

4. Quae maerebat et dolebat,
Pia Mater, dum videbat
Poenas nati incliti.

5. Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio?

6. Quis non potest contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?

7. Eia Mater, fons amoris
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.

8. Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum
Ut sibi complaceam.


9. Stabat Mater, rubens rosa,
Juxta crucem lacrimosa,
Videns ferre criminosa,
Nullum reum crimine.

10. Et dum stetit generosa
Juxta crucem lacrimosa,
Plebs tunc canit clamorosa,
"Crucifige, crucifige!"

11. O quam gravis illa poena,
Tibi, Virgo poenae plena,
Commemorans praeamoena,
Jam versa in maestitiam.

12. Color erat non inventus
In te, Mater, dum detentus
Stabat natus, sic contentus
Ad debellandum Sathanam.

13. Per haec nata praeamata,
Natum tuum qui peccata,
Delet cuncta perpetrata,
Deprecare dulciflue.

14. Ut nostra, tergens ingrata,
In nobis plantet firme grata,
Per quem dando praelibata,
Praestet aeterna requie. Amen.
 

English.png English translation

The grieving Mother
 stood weeping beside the cross
 where her Son was hanging.
Through her weeping soul,
 compassionate and grieving,
 a sword passed.


O how sad and afflicted
 was that blessed Mother
 of the only-begotten,
who mourned and grieved,
 seeing and bearing the torment
 of her glorious child.


Who is it that would not weep,
 seeing Christ’s Mother
 in such agony?
Who could not feel compassion
 on beholding the Holy Mother
 suffering with her Son?


O Mother, fountain of love,
 make me feel the power of sorrow,
 that I may grieve with you.
Grant that my heart may burn
 in the love of Christ my God,
 that I may greatly please Him.


The Mother stood, a red rose,
 weeping beside the cross,
 seeing Him bear a criminal’s fate
 who was guilty of no crime.

And as she stood,
 full of heart,
 grieving beside her son,
 the people cried, “Crucify, crucify!”

O how grievous was your pain,
 Virgin full of sorrows,
 when you recalled
 former joys now turned to sadness.

There was no colour in you, Mother,
 when your Son stood detained,
 yet content at Satan’s overthrow.

Hence, best-beloved Lady,
 beseech your Son,
 who takes away all the sins we have committed,
 with sweet prayer,

that, wiping away our faults,
 He might plant grace in us,
 and fulfil this promise
 in our eternal rest. Amen.
 

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