Friday, February 3, 2017

Ave Regina Caelorum

File:Raffael 027.jpg
Madonna, by Raphael.

It is with that great feast of Candlemas (2 February) that the Marian Anthem chanted at the end of Compline, shifts from the Alma Redemptoris Mater, which we have said since the start of Advent and through the Christmas season, to the Ave Regina Caelorum.  It is customary to say or sing the Ave Regina Caelorum through Lent and until the Holy Triduum and the start of the Easter Season.

The Ave Regina Caelorum, like the  Alma Redemptoris Mater, was written by Hermann Contractus, who died in 1054AD.  For a bit more: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Ave Regina

The text reads:

Ave, Regina Caelorum. 
Ave Domina Angelorum!
Salve Radix, salve porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta.

Gaude Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa.

Vale, o valde decora.
Et pro nobis Christum exora.

In English:
Welcome, O Queen of Heaven. 
Welcome, O Lady of Angels
Hail! thou root, hail! thou gate
From whom unto the world, a light has arisen:

Rejoice, O glorious Virgin, 
Lovely beyond all others, 
Farewell, most beautiful maiden, 
And pray for us to Christ.

A more poetic English translation:
Hail, O Queen of heaven enthroned!
Hail, by Angels mistress own'd!
Root of Jesse, gate of morn,
Whence the world's true Light was born.

Loveliest whom in Heaven they see,
Fairest thou where all are fair!
Plead with Christ our sins to spare.

[From my Baronius Press hand missal, pg. 120]

This is the original Gregorian Chant setting of the Ave Regina Caelorum:

Here is a setting of the Anthem by the master composer Palestrina (+1594AD):

This is another setting, this by the great Lassus (+1594AD):

Finally, a setting by the lesser known-German Composer, Johann Kaspar Kerll (+1693):

Live well!

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