Queen of Heaven

Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned.

Hail, by angels mistress owned.

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 souls to spare.

Ave Regina Caelorum

Dr. John Pepino discusses the history and meaning of this Marian antiphon, which the Church sings throughout the Lenten season.

Among other morsels of wisdom, Dr. Pepino notes that Ave, “Hail,” is the reverse of Eva, “Eve.” Whereas the mother of the human race sinned under the influence of a fallen angel, the Mother of our Savior sinlessly submitted to God’s word as presented by his faithful messenger.

Father Hezekias Carnazzo sagely advises us to keep this hymn on our lips as we prepare for the coming weeks of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. Towards the end of the video, the beautiful chant melody is demonstrated.

The album Ave Regina by Accentus Austria (streaming, CD) includes four versions of the hymn, set to music by Johann Joseph Fux (1660–1741).

Does one seem to capture the spirit of this song best? As always, the reader’s thoughts are most welcome!

In the Divine Office, this antiphon is accompanied by the following prayer:

V. Allow me to praise thee, holy Virgin. R. Give me virtue against thine enemies.

Let us pray: Grant, O merciful God, thy protection to our weak natures, that we who commemorate the holy Mother of God may, by the help of her intercession, arise from our iniquities. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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