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Officium parvum de septem Doloribus B. V. M.
Little Office of the Seven Sorrows of the B. V. M.
BVM

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Seven Dolors, is a devotion ordered to create in the hearts of the Christian faithful a tender compassion for the sufferings of the Mother of God and ultimately Christ Himself. The devotion focuses on the sorrows which the most Holy Virgin endured throughout her life, starting with the prophecy of Simeon and ending at Calvary. The sight of great misfortune is always moving, but our feelings are deepened when the one who suffers is a beloved mother who weeps at the sufferings and death of her Son. Her grief was greater than we can imagine. It is such a grief that moves us to a heartfelt and sincere compassion for her and her Son, for both suffered for the love of us. It is we who have crucified her Son by our sins. It is we who have pierced her heart with the sword of grief. It is we who have caused her tears. It is she and her Son who have sacrificed themselves for the love of us, Christ on the Cross, Mary at the foot of the Cross.

The exact period in which this devotion arose is difficult to pinpoint. In some sense this devotion to the sorrows of Mary is as old as the Church Herself, for its origins lie with Mary herself, whose heart was pierced by a sword (Lk 2:36) as she stood at the foot of the Cross (Jn 19:25-27). Indeed down through the ages various authors note in passing about the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but there is little to go on in tracing the devotion. That changes in the second millennium and by the 13th century it is very clear that there was a general devotion to the Sorrows of Mary as evidenced by such hymns as the Stabat Mater Dolorosa. While the Franciscans and Dominicans contributed to the spread of this devotion, it was the Servites who are chiefly responsible for its propagation. In 1233 seven wealthy gentlemen of Florence renounced their wealth for the service of God, and started the Order of the Servants of Mary, otherwise known as the Servites. Several years later, in 1240, these seven founders of the Servite Order took up the Sorrows of Mary as the principal devotion of their order. Since then the Servite Order has spread the devotion to the Sorrows of Mary throughout the world. In 1423, a synod at Cologne introduced a Mass text and prescribed a feast in honor of the Seven Sorrows to be annually held in western Germany. In 1727, Pope Benedict XIII (d 1730) extended this feast to the whole Church and it is still celebrated today on September 15. The Little Office below is from the writings of the Servite Order.

Ordinaria Start of all the Hours
Ave Maria... Hail Mary...
Ad Matutinum
V. Domine labia mea aperies.
R. Et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
At Matins only
V. O Lord, open my lips.
R. And my mouth will announce Thy praise.
Ad Completorium
V. Converte nos Deus salutaris noster.
R. Et averte iram etc.
At Compline only
V. Convert us, O God our Savior.
R. And turn Thine anger from us.
Ad Horas Omnes
V. Deus in adiutorium meum intende.
R. Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.
At all the Hours
V. O God, come to my aid.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. R. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Alleluia*. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Alleluia*.
*A Septuagesima usque ad Pascha, loco Alleluia, dicitur:
Laus tibi, Domine, Rex aeternae gloriae.
*During Lent until Easter, instead of the alleluia the following is said:
Praise to Thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory.
Ad Matutinum
Primus Dolor: ex Simeonis vaticino. (Luc 2:33-35)
Initium
At Matins, the start of the Day
First Sorrow: The Prophesy of holy Simeon. (Lk 2:33-35)
Start
AVE dulcis, Mater Christi!
Quae cor tuum gladio
Transfigendum audis, tristi
Senis vaticinio:
Tanti memor fac doloris,
Mihi sis praesidio,
Ut post vallem hanc moeroris,
Caeli reddar gaudio.
HAIL to thee, Christ's Mother dearest,
Who, by sad prophetic word,
In the sacred temple hearest
Of the keen heart-piercing sword.
Make me mindful of thy sorrow,
Guard me, that, the valley past,
I may, in the eternal morrow,
Give thee thanks in heaven at last.
Ant. Cui comparabo te? Vel cui assimilabo te, filia Ierusalem? Cui exaequabo te, et consolabor Virgo, filia Sion? Magna est enim velut mare contritio tua. (Lam. 2:13) Ant. To what shall I compare thee, or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? To what shall I equal thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? For great as the sea is thy destruction. (Lam. 2:13)
V. Tuam ipsius animam doloris gladius pertransivit:
R. Ut releventur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. (Luc. 2:35)
V. Thine own soul a sword shall pierce.
R. That out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. (Lk. 2:35)
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Ad Primam
Secundus Dolor: ex fuga in Aegyptum. (Mt 2:13-15)
Initium
At Prime, the first hour of the day
Second Sorrow: The flight into Egypt. (Mt 2:13-15)
Start
AVE dulcis Mater Christi
Quae prae Regis furia
Saeviente, corde tristi,
Fugis exul patria:
O Regina beatorum,
Nostri spes exilii,
Fac infractus vi malorum
Fiam consors Filii.
HAIL, thou Christ's sweet Mother, flying
From an angry tyrant's hand,
In thy heart's deep sorrow sighing,
Banished from thy fatherland.
O thou Queen of blessed spirits,
Exiles never seek in vain;
Safe from evil man inherits,
Grant me with thy Son to reign.
Ant. Vide, Domine, quoniam tribulor: conturbatus est venter meus: subversum est cor meum in memetipsa; quoniam amaritudine plena sum: foris interfecit gladius, et domi mors similis est. (Lam 1:20) Ant. Behold, O Lord, for I am in distress; my bowels are troubled, my heart is turned within me, for I am full of bitterness: abroad the sword destroyeth, and at home there is death alike. (Lam 1:20)
V. Domine ante te omne desiderium meum.
R. Et gemitus meus a te non est absconditus.
V. Lord, all my desire is before Thee.
R. And my groaning is not hidden from Thee.
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Ad Tertiam
Tertius Dolor: ex amisso duodenni Filio. (Luc 2:41-52)
Initium
At Terce, the third hour of the day 9:00 am
Third Sorrow: The Loss of the Child Jesus. (Lk 2:41-52)
Start
AVE dulcis Mater Christi.
Natum lugens inclytum:
O quam tristis quaesivisti
Triduo iam perditum:
Huius memor o doloris!
Christum fac inveniam,
Et inventum per amoris
Nexum semper teneam.
HAIL,to thee, Christ's Mother sweetest,
When was lost thy Son, thy King,
Thou, with mother's woe completest,
Three days sought Him sorrowing.
Ne'er be this remembrance over,
Let me find thy Son by grace,
And when I have found my lover,
Hold Him in a long embrace.
Ant. Plorans ploravit in nocte et lachrimae eius in maxillis eius, non est qui consoletur eam ex omnibus charis eius. (Lam 1:2) Ant. Weeping she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her. (Lam 1:2)
V. Posuisti me desolatam.
R. Tota die moerore confectam. (Lam 1:13)
V. He hath made me desolate.
R. Washed with sorrow all day long. (Lam 1:13)
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Ad Sextam
Quartus Dolor: ex captivitate flagellatione, et baiulatione Crucis Christi. (Luc 26:32)
Initium
At Sext, the sixth hour of the day, noon
Fourth Sorrow: The Meeting of Jesus carrying His cross. (Lk 26:32)
Start
AVE dulcis Mater Christi.
Quae dilectum Filium
Capi, coepi, flens vidisti,
Manibus crudelium:
O per poenas Patientis,
Nobis fit impunitas:
Per amorem Condolentis
Matris crescat caritas!
HAIL, Christ's sweetest Mother, looking
While thy Son was led along,
And from cruel hands was brooking
Blows and thorns and torture-thong.
By the pains which ne'er another
Bare as He, may we find peace;
By the love of his dear Mother
Suffering, may our love increase.
Ant. Vide Domine afflictionem meam; quoniam erectus est inimicus. Manum suam misit hostis ad omnia desiderabilia mea. (Lam 1:9-10) Ant. Behold, O Lord, my affliction, because the enemy is lifted up: the enemy hath put out his hand to all her desirable things. (Lam 1:9-10)
V. Quis dabit capiti meo quam, et oculis meis fontem lacrimarum.
R. Et plorabo die ac nocte.
V. Who will give water to my head and a fountain of tears to my eyes?
R. And I will weep day and night.
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Ad Nonam
Quintus Dolor: ex Crucifixione. (Jn 19:25-30)
Initium
At Nones, the ninth hour of the day 3:00 pm
Fifth Sorrow: The Crucifixion of Jesus. (Jn 19:25-30)
Start
AVE dulcis Mater Christi.
Quae sub Crucis arbore
Gemens, Natum morte tristi,
Vides, heu! succumbere.
O per ensem hunc doloris
Qui tunc scidit animam
Fac me firmet vis amoris
Mortis ad victoriam.
HAIL, Christ's sweetest Mother, sighing
'Neath the cross predestined tree,
When thy Son, so sadly dying,
Turned His eyes to look on thee.
By the sword of bitter sorrow,
Which then cleft thy soul in twain,
Grant that I love's might may borrow,
And o'er death the victory gain.
Ant. O vos omnes qui transitis, per viam attendite et videte,
si est dolor, sicut dolor meus. (Lam 1:12)
Ant. O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow. (Lam 1:12)
V. Plauserunt super te manibus omnes transeuntes per viam.
R. Sibi laverunt et moverunt caput suum super filiam Ierusalem.
V. All they that passed by the way have clapped their hands at thee.
R. They have hissed, and wagged their head at the daughter of Jerusalem.
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Ad Vesperas
Sextus Dolor: ex Corporis e Cruce sublatione. (In 19:31-37)
Initium
At Vespers, evening prayer 6:00 pm
Sixth Sorrow: The Taking down from the Cross. (Jn 19:31-37)
Start
AVE dulcis Mater Christi.
Quae de Cruce mortuum
Ulnis natum suscepisti,
Madens unda fletuum
Eia praestet vis doloris,
Mater plena gratiae,
Ut supremis server horis
Gremio clementiae.
HAIL, Christ's sweetest Mother, craving
Dead, thy Son, let down from rood,
In thy arms to bear, and laving
Him with thy tears' holy flood.
May the power of that great anguish,
Mary Mother full of grace,
Keep me, when in death I languish,
Till I see my Savior's face.
Ant. Ne vocetis me Noemi (id est pulchram) sed vocate me Mara (id est amaram) quia amaritudine valde me replevit Omnipotens. (Ruth 1:20) Ant. Call me not Noemi (that is, beautiful), but call me Mara (that is, bitter), for the Almighty hath quite filled me with bitterness. (Ruth 1:20)
V. Fasciculus myrrhae dilectus meus mihi.
R. Inter ubera mea commorabitur. (Cant. 1)
V. A bundle of myrrh is my Beloved to me.
R. He shall abide between my breasts. (Cant. 1)
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Ad Completorium
Septimus Dolor: ex Sepultura. (In 19:38-42)
Initium
At Compline, night time prayer before sleep
Seventh Sorrow: The Burial of Jesus. (Jn 19:38-42)
Start
AVE dulcis Mater Christi.
Quae sepulchro conditum
Plangis Natum, heu quam tristi
Mente volvens obitum!
In virtute tot dolorum
Quos tulisti fortiter,
Omnem contra vim malorum,
Stare nos viriliter:
Demum sorte beatorum
Fac gaudere iugiter.
HAIL, Christ's sweetest Mother, weeping
Jesus hidden in the tomb,
Done to death and lowly sleeping,
Thou dost mourn His early doom.
By the might of anguished hours,
Suffered with a constant heart,
'Gainst the force of evil powers,
Help us bear a manly part;
Till with Saints on heavenly towers
We may join thee where thou art.
Ant. Idcirco ego plorans et oculus meus deducens aquas: quia longe factus est a me consolator convertens animam meam. (Lam 1:16) Ant. Therefore do I weep, and my eyes run down with water, because the Comforter, the relief of my soul, is far from me. (Lam 1:16)
V. Defecerunt prae lacrimis oculi mei.
R. Conturbata sunt viscera mea. (Lam 2:11)
V. My eyes have failed with weeping.
R. Within me all is troubled. (Lam 2:11)
Oremus
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee that the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow in the hour of thy passion, may appeal for us to Thy clemency, now and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Commendatio Commendation, recited at the end of Compline
HAS Horas canonicas cum devotione,
Tibi Virgo recolo pia ratione;
Ut materni pectoris ex compassione,
Mihi sis auxilio mortis in agone.

Amen.
TO thee, O Blessed Virgin, I recite
prayers that are fitting for each holy rite;
May'st thou with loving mother's heart be nigh
To be my help, what time I come to die.

Amen.

Latin from the Coeleste Palmetum, 1741, 1872, and 1890 editions. English from Behold Thy Mother, Servite Manual, 1959.



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