Entrance Antiphon Cf. Lk2:34-35
Simeon said to Mary: Behold, this child is destined for the ruin and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign of contradiction; and your own soul a sword will pierce.
O God, who willed that when your Son was lifted high on the Cross, his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering, grant that your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ, may merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you. . .
The Gospel for this memorial is proper.
He learned obedience and became the source of eternal salvation.
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 5:7-9)
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries anal tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he stuttered, and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 31:1-2ab.2cd-3.4-5.14-15. 19 (R.16b)
R. Save me, O Lord, in your merciful love.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free;
incline your ear to me,
and speedily rescue me. R.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mighty stronghold to save me.
For you are my rock, my stronghold!
Lead me, guide me,
for the sake of your name. R.
Release me from the snare they have hidden,
for you indeed are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
You will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God. R.
But as for me, I trust in you,
O Lord; I say, “You are my God.
My lot is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of my enemies
and those who pursue me. R.
How great is the goodness, Lord,
That you keep for those who fear you,
That you show to those who trust you
In the sight of the children of men. R.
The following sequence, Stabat Mater, is optional.
SEQUENCE (Poetic Text)
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 had passed.
Oh, 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.
O sweet 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.
Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my saviour crucified.
Let me share with thee his pain,
Who for all our 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.
By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.
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.
Wounded with his every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In his very blood away.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I bum and die,
In his awful judgement day.
Christ, when thou shalt call me hence,
Be thy Mother my defence,
Be thy cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
May my soul thy goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.
Alleluia. Blessed is the Blessed Virgin Mary; for, without dying, she merited the palm of martyrdom at the foot of the Lord’s cross. Alleluia.
How the loving mother sorrowed in her anguish, contemplating the torments of her great son! (Stabat Mater).
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 19:25-27)
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
The Gospel of the Lord.
When we take a reverent look at the Pieta we are pulled into a world of pain and agony. We see the agony of a mother who shares the pain of her son; we sense the grief of a mother who was broken because her son was broken. We see the prophecy of Simeon about a piercing sword of sorrow. Mary journeyed through the Paschal Mystery with her son; she drank the chalice of the crucifixion to its bitter end and courageously kept everything in her heart. In Mary, we see how faith is experienced and expressed. With Mary and the Church, our place is at the cross. We live in a world of broken hearts; a world that hungers for mercy and compassion. Our calling is to draw the pain and suffering of the world into God’s compassion.