Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

On the reverse of the Great Rood, usually hidden from the congregation but visible to the celebrant, is this powerful image of our Lady of Sorrows. Verses from the Stabat Mater (the hymn by Jacopone da Todi that is familiar from celebrations of the Stations of the Cross) were specially chosen by Cardinal Vaughan for the extremities of the cross.

In this image, our Lady is seen as leading, and representing, the congregation; through her pain, as well as her blessed status, she has the right to lead us towards the altar. There, the place of Sacrifice of her Son, we are redeemed - a redemption which she forshadows in her own person.


Anonymous said...

How very interesting. What is the (I presume) Greek text on the arms of the Cross?

Stephen M. Collins said...

Both sides of the Crucifix are absolutely beautiful. Is there a smaller reproduction available in a gift shop somewhere? I think I'd like to buy one for my Pastor.
Stephen M. Collins

Mark Langham said...

The Greek text is
THEOTOKOS (Mother of God)
HE ALGOUSA (The sorrowing one)

The Cathedral gift shop is, I know, working on a reproduction for sale there.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I guessed the inscription on the right side was "Theotokos". Thank you, Monsignor, for the translations.

Anonymous said...

Monsignor, this is most interesting. The depiction of Mary is reminiscent of the image of Our Lady of All Nations.

Information about this particular devotion can be found .