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Chicago Way of the Cross

For I resolved to know nothing
while I was with you except
Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
(1 Corinthians 2:2)

Chicago Way of the Cross
Good Friday

Mater Dolorosa by Dieric Bouts

"Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother’s pain untold?"

Stabat Mater

The medieval Latin hymn, "Stabat Mater," is a poem about the Virgin Mary and her profound sorrow at witnessing the death of her son, Jesus Christ. "Stabat Mater" is particularly associated with the Stations of the Cross. When the Stations are performed in public, as in church or an outdoor procession, it is customary to sing this hymn while walking from one Station to the next.

Mater Dolorosa (Circa 1470-75), Dieric Bouts, The Art Institute of Chicago

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 blessed
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 bloody scourges rent.

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

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,
That is all I ask of thee.

O thou Mother! Font 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.

Virgin of all virgins blest,
Listen to my tard request,
Let me share thy grief divine.

Holy Mother! Pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

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

While my body here decays,
May my soul thy goodness praise,
Safe in paradise with thee. Amen.


Way of the Cross