During Eastertide, the Church’s Marian hymn of choice is the Regina Caeli:
Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia; Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia: Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
(Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia; the Son you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray to God for us, alleluia.)
Just as Christ’s Kingship is connected to the obedience by which he suffered death on the cross (Phil. 2:8-11), so too is Mary’s Queenship the fruit of her obedience to the divine Word.
That obedience stretched from the Annunciation and Incarnation to the Crucifixion. Of all mortals, Mary best fulfilled our Lord’s injunction to lay down one’s soul for God and neighbor, and she is most entitled to rejoice at her Son’s Resurrection!
This marvelous rendering of the song, by Maurizio Cazzati (1620-1677), features a truly “breathtaking” interplay between soprano and cornetto. For more about the latter instrument, and the project of which this recording is a part, see this charming video.
As if that were insufficient, I can’t resist calling Dear Reader’s attention to this lovely version of the hymn by Emperor Leopold I (1640-1705).
If it is hard for us to imagine a time when earthly sovereigns sang the praises of our heavenly Queen, let’s recall that, in principle, it is the people who are sovereign in modern democratic regimes.
What would happen if we imitated the humble charity with which Our Lady devoted herself to God’s will, and demanded that our leaders do likewise, or make room for those who will?
What do you think? Please comment, subscribe, & forward to friends!