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Regina Coeli

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This article is about the Marian hymn. For the Marian title, see Queen of Heaven.
Madonna col bambino, palazzo medici riccardi, filippo lippi

Madonna by Filippo Lippi, an example of Marian art

The Regina Caeli or Regina Coeli ("Queen of Heaven", in ecclesastical Latin pronounced [reˈdʒiːna ˈtʃeːli]), an ancient Latin Marian Hymn of the Christian Church, is one of the four seasonal Marian antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prescribed to be sung or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours at the conclusion of the last of the hours to be prayed in common that day, typically night prayer (Compline or Vespers). The Regina Caeli is sung or recited in place of the Angelus during the Easter season, from Holy Saturday through Pentecost Sunday. The Latin word coelum, meaning "heaven" (whence the English word celestial) was a common medieval and early modern spelling of caelum: only the form with ae is recognised in the Oxford Latin Dictionary. In mediaeval Latin, ae and oe were both pronounced [eː].

While the authorship of the Regina Caeli is unknown, the hymn has been traced back to the twelfth century. It was in Franciscan use, after Compline, in the first half of the following century. Legend has it that St Gregory the Great heard angels chanting the first three lines one Easter morning in Rome, while following barefoot in a great religious procession the icon of the Virgin painted by Luke the Evangelist. He was thereupon inspired to add the fourth line.

There are plainsong melodies (a simple and an ornate form) associated with Regina Caeli, the official or "typical" melody being found in the Vatican Antiphonary, 1911, p. 126. The antiphonal strophes of Regina Caeli were often set by polyphonic composers of the 16th century. There are three settings by the young Mozart, K.108, K.127, and K.276.

The Marian anthems run the gamut of medieval literary styles, from the classical hexameters of the Alma Redemptoris Mater through the richly-rhymed accentual rhythm and regular strophes of the Ave Regina Caelorum, the irregular syntonic strophe of the Regina Caeli, to the sonorous prose rhythms with rhyming closes of the Salve Regina. "In the 16th century, the antiphons of our Lady were employed to replace the little office at all the hours" (Baudot, The Roman Breviary, 1909, p. 71).

Latin text

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare. alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

In some forms, is added:

Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English text

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Literal translation:

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


An alternate translation:

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven. Alleluia!
He whom thou wast meet to bear. Alleluia!
As he promised hath arisen. Alleluia!
Pour for us to God thy prayer. Alleluia!
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord is risen indeed, alleluia.

Let us pray,

O God, who through the resurrection of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ didst vouchsafe to give joy to the world: grant, we beseech thee, that through his Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Anglo-Catholic churches, the alternate translation above which is in 7.7.7.7 metre is usually sung to same tune as the Easter hymn, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today."

See also

External links

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

br:Regina Coelila:Regina Caeli

hu:Regina coelija:レジーナ・チェリ pag:Regina Coelipt:Regina Coeli sv:Regina Caeli

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