Saturday, 14 September 2013

Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Lady

This Sunday the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady is commemorated.
Our Lady of Sorrows

For those not familiar with this devotion, the Seven Sorrows (or Seven Dolours) are as follows:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon (at the Presentation, when the old man, Simeon, told Our Lady that her heart would be pierced with a sword of sorrow)
  2. The Flight into Egypt (particularly pertinent at the present time with the large number of refugees leaving Syria, and the troubles in Egypt itself)
  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (culminating in the Finding in the Temple. A child going missing must be every mother's worst nightmare)
  4. The Meeting of Jesus and His Blessed Mother on the way to Calvary
  5. The Death of Jesus on the Cross
  6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and the Placing of His body in His Mother's arms
  7. The Burial of Jesus

The Seven Sorrows

Devotion to these Mysteries is particularly associated with the Servite Order, notably through two objects, the Black Scapular of the Seven Sorrows (not to be confused with the Passionist Black Scapular. The Servite Black Scapular forms part of the Fivefold Scapular - I'll try and write posts about these sometime), and the Dolour Rosary - this consists of seven sets of seven beads, separated by medals depicting the Seven Sorrows, and a 'tail' of three beads and a medal of Our Lady of Sorrows, which commemorates the tears of Our Lady. The 'Our Father' is said on each medal (including the large one on the 'tail') and the 'Hail Mary' on each bead. Meditate upon each Dolour, as you would on each of the Mysteries of the Rosary. An Act of Contrition should be made before saying the Dolour Rosary, and there is a concluding prayer as follows:
V. Pray for us, O Most Sorrowful Virgin
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and at the hour of our death, the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose holy soul was pierced at the time of Thy Passion with a sword of grief. Grant us this favour, O Saviour of the world, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. 

Dolour Rosary

Sequence 'Stabat Mater' for the feast of the Seven Sorrows

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