Sunday, 12 April 2009

Regina Coeli

One Easter morning, St Gregory the Great was walking in procession when he heard angels chanting:

Regina coeli laetare, alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.

And he added the last line:

Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Other than this legend, the authorship of the Regina Coeli is completely unknown although it has been attributed to Gregory V, apparently without any reason. During Easter, from the Easter Vigil until Pentecost, it replaces the Angelus and is often sung in the following translation to the tune of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today":

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.

O God who by the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, didst vouchsafe to bring joy to the whole world.
Grant that through his Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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