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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A medieval Latin hymn on the sorrows of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion.
  • n. A musical setting for this hymn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A celebrated Latin hymn, beginning with these words, commemorating the sorrows of the mother of our Lord at the foot of the cross. It is read in the Mass of the Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, and is sung by Catholics when making “the way of the cross” (Via Crucis). See station, 7 (c).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the Rom. Cath. liturgy, a sequence on the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion, written about 1300 by Jacobus de Benedictis (Jacopone da Todi).
  • n. A musical setting of this sequence. Famous examples have been written by Palestrina, Pergolesi, Rossini, Dvořák, and others.
  • n. A sequence regarding the Virgin Mary in contemplation of the infant Jesus. It first appeared in 1495, but has not been incorporated into a regular liturgy. It is more fully known as the Stabat Mater speciosa, to distinguish it from the Stabat Mater dolorosa (see def. 1).
  • n. A musical setting of this Christmas sequence, as in Liszt's “Christus.”


From Medieval Latin Stābat Māter (dolōrōsa), the Mother was standing (full of sorrow), the first words of the hymn : Latin stābat, third person sing. imperfect tense of stāre, to stand + Medieval Latin Māter, Mother (of God).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • 'Stabat Mater' with just such a beautiful voice; it makes me actually think that I can hear her now.

    A Hungarian Nabob

  • As Jack Murray said when giving me a birthday present many years ago of a Pergolesi "Stabat Mater" recording, "yes, it's a 'Stabat Mater' but it's an UP 'Stabat Mater.'

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • Sellars also provided Arwady with some interpolated vocal relief by inserting the first part of Vivaldi's Stabat Mater for the less worthy of her later arias.

    Rodney Punt: Griselda in Peter Sellars Production at Santa Fe Opera

  • You don't need to bring the bells and whistles everywhere you go: Some of the best experiences I've had have been in tiny, unexpected venues, or on tiny platforms in big, atmospheric spaces: Katya Kabanova on Inis Oirr; Tamerlano on a 2.5m by 3.5m platform in a cathedral; a staged Stabat Mater in a cave at a slate quarry.

    Best bits: on the road – exploring new models of touring

  • The Stabat Mater has been retained as an optional Sequence for September 15 in the reformed Roman Missal and as the hymn for the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer in the new Liturgy of Hours.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • The Stabat Mater has two qualities that most scholars date from the twelfth century: an intricate rhyme scheme and a regular meter usually trochaic....

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Stabat Mater is the title of a thirteenth-century Latin hymn and it means "the Mother was standing."

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Labels: Mother's Day, Stabat Mater posted by Ayala Sender @ 2:46:00 PM

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Today only four are used: Victimae Paschali (Easter), Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost), Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi), and Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows), of which the first two are obligatory and the later two are optional.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • Some of the music in the Bernini episode is from Vivaldi's Stabat Mater, RV 621.

    Simon Schama's Power of Art


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