March 29, 2013

Hail, Our Queen and Mother Blest / Salve Regina

Mother of Mercy

Hail, Our Queen and Mother Blest is a translation of the Latin hymn, Salve Regina. This translation, used as an Antiphon sung after Night Prayer in modern Divine Office is set to the tune, Gaudeamus Pariter (Ave Virgo Virginum) composed by Johann Roh (c.1495-1547) and adapted in 1584 by Johann Leisentrit (1527-1586). The lyrics can be found here, under the heading: "English hymns based on the Latin original". Salve Regina (see 2nd video) is an anonymous Latin hymn that dates back to the Middle Ages. It is one of four Marian antiphons traditionally sung after Compline in the Roman Breviary. Authorship is uncertain, but modern research suggests the Benedictine Abbot, St. Hermann of Reichenau (1013-1054) as the most likely composer. Crippled from birth and suffering from a paralytic condition, at the age of 7 he was placed in the care of the Benedictine monks on the Monastic Island of Reichenau. The Abbey was a center of arts and learning at the time. There he thrived, becoming an expert scholar, composer, music theorist, mathematician, and astronomer. He is also credited with the composition of another of the Marian antiphon's, Alma Redemptoris Mater. The text of Salve Regina in it's current form was set down at Cluny Abbey in the 12th century. In the Liturgy of the Hours and the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary it is sung or recited at the conclusion of Night Prayer. It is also included as an optional hymn for Monday Evening Prayer in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Tune: Gaudeamus Pariter


Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes,
in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.


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