Stabat Mater

for SATB a cappella with divisi

Stabat Mater


SATB a cappella with divisi
Canberra, 2004

Master Singers Chorale of Northeast Ohio, 2005, dir. J.D. Goddard

Source of text
13th-century hymn
22 m
Preview score


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About the text

Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Roman Catholic hymn to Mary. It has been variously attributed to the Franciscan Jacopone da Todi and to Innocent III. The hymn, one of the most powerful and immediate of extant medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during his crucifixion. It is sung at the liturgy on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Text from Wikipedia.

About the work

The text is divided into eight movements, numbered below. Each movement has a different feel and arrangement of voices.

Latin text

  1. Stabat mater dolorosa
    juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
    dum pendebat Filius.

    Cuius animam gementem,
    contristatam et dolentem
    pertransivit gladius.

    O quam tristis et afflicta
    fuit illa benedicta,
    mater Unigeniti!

    Quæ mœrebat et dolebat,
    pia Mater, dum videbat
    nati pœnas incliti.

  2. Quis est homo qui non fleret,
    matrem Christi si videret
    in tanto supplicio?

    Quis non posset contristari
    Christi Matrem contemplari
    dolentem cum Filio?

    Pro peccatis suæ gentis
    vidit Jesum in tormentis,
    et flagellis subditum.

    Vidit suum dulcem Natum
    moriendo desolatum,
    dum emisit spiritum.

  3. Eia, Mater, fons amoris
    me sentire vim doloris
    fac, ut tecum lugeam.

    Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
    in amando Christum Deum
    ut sibi complaceam.

  4. Sancta Mater, istud agas,
    crucifixi fige plagas
    cordi meo valide.

    Tui Nati vulnerati,
    tam dignati pro me pati,
    poenas mecum divide.

  5. Fac me vere tecum flere,
    crucifixo condolere,
    donec ego vixero.

    Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
    et me tibi sociare
    in planctu desidero.

  6. Virgo virginum præclara,
    mihi jam non sis amara,
    fac me tecum plangere.

    Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
    passionis fac consortem,
    et plagas recolere.

  7. Fac me plagis vulnerari,
    cruce hac inebriari,
    ob amorem Filii.

    Inflammatus et accensus
    per te, Virgo, sim defensus
    in die judicii.

    Face me cruce custodiri,
    morte Christi præmuniri,
    confoveri gratia.

  8. Quando corpus morietur,
    fac, ut animæ donetur
    paradisi gloria.


English translation

  1. At the Cross her station keeping,
    stood the mournful Mother weeping,
    close to her son 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.

  2. 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?

    For the sins of His own nation,
    She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
    All with scourges rent:

    She beheld her tender Child,
    Saw Him hang in desolation,
    Till His spirit forth He sent.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 thee to give.

  6. 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.

  7. 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;

  8. While my body here decays,
    may my soul Thy goodness praise,
    Safe in Paradise with Thee.


Translation by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica, 1849.