Tucked in between the readings today is an optional sequence, the Stabat Mater. This hymn originates in the thirteenth century and focuses on the sufferings of the Virgin Mary. There are over sixty translations of this stirring prayer and many musical settings by master composers. You may recognize a sung version from Good Friday services.

The hymn reflects on the seven sorrows of Mary and how she intimately shared in Jesus’ redemptive suffering for the forgiveness of sins of the whole world throughout time. 

The seven sorrows of Our Lady include the following: Simeon’s prophecy about Mary being pierced by a sword, the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, the loss of the child Jesus in the temple, Mary meeting Jesus on the Way of the Cross, the Crucifixion, taking down the Body of Jesus from the Cross, and the burial of Jesus.

The hymn resounds with the suffering of Our Mother Mary, which begs each reader to share in the redemptive mercy of Our Lord, her Son, Jesus.

…Make me feel as you have 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 you his pain, who for all our sins was slain, who for me in torments died. Let me mingle tears with you, mourning him who mourned for me, all the days that I may live. By the cross with you to stay, there with you to weep and pray, is all I ask of you to give…” (excerpts from the Stabat Mater)

Holy Mother Mary, I lift up my prayers and pains to join your petitions to Christ Jesus, your Son. I pray for each of the very challenging situations facing individuals, communities, nations and all of creation. May I continue to grow in love for all in this world. Amen.

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