If you can, listen to the Stabat Mater, set to music by Pergolesi. The poem consists of 20 stanzas and is considered one of the seven greatest hymns of all time. Attributed to the 13th century poet, Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306), it describes the seven sorrows of Mary.
The hymn opens,
Stabat Mater dolorosa—At the Cross her station keeping,
Iuxta Crucem lacrimosa—Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Dum pendebat Filius—Close to Jesus to the last.
How unimaginable – Mary at the foot of the Cross. What greater anguish could there be than to watch your son die.
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother’s pain untold?
Dare we offer to share that grief?
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.
And yet for us, our sorrow is woven through with hope, with astonishment, with faith that Jesus will come again.
Readings for Mar. 25, 2016, Good Friday
Reading 1 — Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Responsorial Psalm — Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Reading 2 — Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Verse Before The Gospel — Philippians 2:8-9
Gospel — John 18:1-19:42