Queen of Heaven! The Church’s Greeting to the Blessed Virgin at Christ’s Resurrection

The brevity and simplicity of this prayer, in addition to its wonderful theological meaning, make it one of the most beautiful expressions of Easter joy.

Newsroom (19/04/2022 09:00,Gaudium Press ) “Queen of Heaven, rejoice!”, Catholic faithful sing to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Easter time, following a tradition dating back to the 12th century and which was promulgated by the Franciscan community. As with many long-standing prayers, its first words give it its name, and which the Church still remembers in its original Latin form: ‘Regina Coeli‘.

One of the most beautiful expressions of Easter joy

This Marian antiphon is one of the four hymns of the Easter Season included in the Liturgy of the Hours, which are recited from Holy Saturday – the eve of the Lord’s Resurrectionuntil the Sunday after Pentecost. It is part of the liturgical evening prayer called the Complete Divine Office. Its brevity and simplicity, as well as its wonderful theological significance, make this prayer one of the most beautiful expressions of Easter joy.

The very beginning of the prayer contains a mystery of faith which is also contemplated in the Holy Rosary, in the Glorious Mysteries: the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin as Queen and Mistress of all creation. It is to this “Queen of Heaven” that the Church turns to congratulate Her on the Resurrection of her Son Jesus Christ, since it is She who, by her maternal nature and supernatural virtue, suffered most intensely and unitedly the tragedy of the Passion and Death of Jesus.

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The origin of the Regina Coeli

The origin of the ‘Regina Coeli‘ is unknown, but a fine tradition attributes it to St. Gregory the Great, Pontiff and Doctor of the Church, who heard the first three verses from the mouths of Angels as he made a barefoot procession through the streets of Rome. To the heavenly composition, the Holy Father would have added only the fourth phrase of the prayer: “Pray to God for us.”

The original antiphon is adapted to be recited as a prayer, in a similar manner as to the Angelus, taking its present form and adding a final prayer.

Prayer of the ‘Regina Coeli’

V. Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom thou hast merited to bring into thy most pure bosom, alleluia.
V. He is risen as He said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
V. Let us pray: O God, who deigned to make the world glad by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant us, we beseech Thee, the grace to attain by the protection of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, the glory of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen. 

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

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