Ave Regina caelorum

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The Ave Regina caelorum is sung as the concluding votive antiphon of the Divine Office during the pre-Lent and Lenten seasons, i.e. from the Feast of the Presentation (2nd February) until Maundy Thursday.

It appears to be of monastic origin but the author is unknown (dating from around the 12th century). Herman Contractus (+1054) is often suggested as the author, for he wrote several popular Marian antiphons around then. This antiphon is one of the traditional concluding antiphons for Compline in use since the 13th century. It is traditionally recited from the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 2) until Wednesday in Holy Week.

View the Wikipedia article on Ave Regina caelorum.

Musical settings at CPDL

Other settings possibly not included in the manual list above

Text and translations

The text of this antiphon appears to have remained fairly unchanged since the 12th century, lines 3 & 8 being standardized as noted below in the Breviary of Pope Clement VIII, published in 1602. Dufay's setting is unique in ending with an Alleluia, which probably stems from the earlier use of the antiphon at the Annunciation.

Latin.png Latin text

Ave Regina coelorum,
Ave Domina Angelorum:
Salve radix, salve porta, [or Salve, radix sancta,]
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:

Gaude Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum [semper] exora.

English.png English translation

Hail, Queen of Heaven.
Hail, Lady of Angels
Hail, root, hail, gate [hail, holy root]
From whom unto the world a light has arisen:

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

Spanish.png Spanish translation

Salve, reina de los cielos,
Salve, señora de los ángeles,
Salve, raíz santa,
de quien nació la luz al mundo.

Alégrate, Virgen gloriosa,
entre todas la más bella.
Salve a tí, la más hermosa.
Ruega siempre a Cristo por nosotros.

Vietnamese.png Vietnamese translation

Kính lạy Bà, Vị Nữ Hoàng Thiên Quốc,
Lạy Nữ Vương trên chín phẩm thiên thần,
Là Cội Thiêng là Cửa Trời vinh phúc,
Đem Vầng Hồng rực rỡ xuống trần gian.

Mừng vui lên, mừng vui lên Trinh Nữ,
Bà hiển vinh, Bà diễm lệ khôn tày.
Bên toà Chúa Kitô, Ngôi Thánh Tử,
Cúi lạy Bà, xin nguyện giúp cầu thay.

Caswall's 77. 77 metric paraphrase text

Hail, O Queen of Heav'n enthron'd,
Hail, by angels Mistress own'd
Root of Jesse, Gate of morn,
Whence the world's true light was born.

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

Translation by Edward Caswall from preces-latinae.org

In the context of Compline a versicle & response as well as a collect follow, rarely if ever set to music:

Dignare me laudare te Virgo sacrata
Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.

V. Allow me to praise thee, holy Virgin. R. Give me strength against thy enemies.