At the cross, her vigil keeping
At the cross, her vigil keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
where he hung, the dying Lord,
through her soul of joy bereaved,
bowed with sorrow deeply grieved,
passed the sharp and piercing sword.
Who upon that mother gazing,
in her anguish so amazing,
born of woman, would not weep?
Who, of Christ's dear mother thinking,
while her son that cup is drinking,
would not share her sorrow deep?
For his people's sins chastised,
she beheld her son despised,
scourged, and crowned with thorns entwined,
saw him then from judgment taken,
and in death by all forsaken,
till his spirit he resigned.
Near your cross, O Christ, abiding,
grief and love my heart dividing,
I with her would take my place.
By your saving cross uphold me,
in your dying, Christ, enfold me,
with the deathless arms of grace.
Words: Stabat Mater dolorosa, 13th c.; tr. Edward Caswall and
Tune: Gesangbuch Mainz, 1661
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