Praying the Seven Dolors
By frequent meditation on the mystery of the cross and its meaning in our lives, we unite ourselves in a special way with Christ in his passion and with Mary his mother, who stood by the cross. We meditate on her role in the Christian mysteries. The rosary, dolors, other Marian devotions and the celebration of her feasts are ways we express our love of her.
The devotion of the Chaplet of the Seven Dolors was instituted in the 13th century. It consists of a series of meditative prayers practiced upon a chaplet made up of seven times seven beads, with three additional beads and a crucifix. Each section of seven beads represents the seven principal sorrows of Mary’s life.
The following is one version of the chaplet devotion:
Chaplet of the Seven Dolors
– Sorrows of Mary –
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and
enkindle your love and compassion.
V. Send forth your Spirit.
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
V. Remember, O God, your people.
R. We look to you for justice and peace.
V. O Lord, hear our prayer.
R. And let our cries come to you.
LET US PRAY:
Illumine our minds, we ask you, God, with the light of your wisdom, that we may discern the means and find the strength to be your compassion in the world.
Meditate on each dolor as you pray one Our Father on the introductory bead, followed by one Hail Mary on each of the seven following beads.
Prophecy of Simeon
“And you yourself shall be pierced with a sword – so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35)
The Flight into Egypt
“Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt.” (Matthew 2:13)
Jesus Left in the Temple
“Why did you search for me? Did you not know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
Meeting Jesus Bearing His Cross
“... the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all ...” (Isaiah 53:6) [and] “Christ suffered for sins once ... that he might lead you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)
Crucifixion of Jesus
“Near the cross of Jesus there stood his Mother.” (John 19:25)
Mary Receives Jesus Dead in Her Arms
“Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering.” (Lamentations 1:12)
Burial of Jesus
“If we have died with him we shall live with him.” (2 Timothy 2:11)
Add three Hail Marys for the forgiveness of sin.