The Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Christian hymn to Mary, which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ's mother during his crucifixion. Its author may be either the Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi or Pope Innocent III. The title comes from its first line, "Stabat Mater dolorosa", which means "the sorrowful mother was standing".
The hymn is sung at the liturgy on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Stabat Mater has been set to music by many Western composers, most famously by Palestrina (~1590), Charpentier (1685), Vivaldi (1712), Domenico Scarlatti (1715) and Alessandro Scarlatti (1723), Pergolesi (1736), Joseph Haydn (1767), Giuseppe Tartini (1769), Boccherini (1781), Rossini (1831-41), Dvo?ák (1876-77), Verdi (1896-97), Szymanowski (1925-26), Poulenc (1950), Arvo Pärt (1985) and Paul Mealor (2009).
The Stabat Mater has often been ascribed to Jacopone da Todi, OFM (ca. 1230-1306), but this has been strongly challenged by the discovery of the earliest notated copy of the Stabat Mater in a 13th-century gradual belonging to the Dominican nuns in Bologna (Museo Civico Medievale MS 518, fo. 200v-04r).
The Stabat Mater was well known by the end of the 14th century and Georgius Stella wrote of its use in 1388, while other historians note its use later in the same century. In Provence, about 1399, it was used during the nine days' processions.
As a liturgical sequence, the Stabat Mater was suppressed, along with hundreds of other sequences, by the Council of Trent, but restored to the missal by Pope Benedict XIII in 1727 for the Feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
1. Stabat mater dolorósa
At the Cross her station keeping,
Composers who have written settings of the Stabat Mater include:
Most of the settings are in Latin, but Karol Szymanowski's and Paul Bebenek's are in Polish, although Szymanowski's may also be sung in Latin. George Oldroyd's setting is in Latin but includes an English translation for Anglican/Episcopalian use.