Alma Redemptoris Mater

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Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Ecclesiastical Latin: [ˈalma redɛmpˈtoris ˈmatɛr]; English: Loving Mother of our Saviour) is a Marian hymn, written in Latin hexameter, and one of four seasonal liturgical Marian antiphons sung at the end of the office of Compline (the other three being Ave Regina cælorum, the Regina cœli and the Salve Regina). Hermannus Contractus (also called Herman the Cripple; 1013–1054) is said to have authored the hymn based on the writings of Saints Fulgentius, Epiphanius, and Irenaeus of Lyon.[3] It is mentioned in "The Prioress's Tale", one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Formerly it was recited at compline only from the first Sunday in Advent until the Feast of the Purification (2 February).

Text[edit]

Latin[4][edit]

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quæ pervia cæli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quæ genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

Depending on the period, the following combinations of a versicle, response, and collect are added:

From the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve[edit]

℣. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ
℟. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
Oremus
Gratiam tuam quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui Incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem ejus et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
℟. Amen.

From First Vespers of Christmas until the Presentation[edit]

℣. Post Partum Virgo inviolata permansisti.
℟. Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis.
Oremus
Deus, qui salutis æternæ beatæ Mariæ virginitate fecunda humano generi præmia præstitisti: tribue, quæsumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus, Auctorem vitæ suscipere Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
℟. Amen.

English translation[5][edit]

Mother of Christ! Hear thou thy people's cry,
Star of the deep, and portal of the sky!
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid;
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

From the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve[edit]

℣. The Angel of the LORD brought tidings unto Mary
℟. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Let us pray.
Pour forth we beseech Thee, O LORD, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may, by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ, our Lord.
℟. Amen.

From First Vespers of Christmas until the Presentation[edit]

℣. After childbirth, O Virgin, thou didst remain inviolate.
℟. Intercede for us, O Mother of God.
Let us pray.
O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession for us, through whom we deserved to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.
℟. Amen.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Handbook of Prayers by James Socías 2006 ISBN 0-87973-579-1 page 472
  2. ^ Juergens, Sylvester P. (2004). The Roman Missal (1962). Angelus Press. p. 114. ISBN 9781892331298. 
  3. ^ :The Tradition of Catholic Prayer by Christian Raab, Harry Hagan 2007 ISBN 0-8146-3184-3 page 234
  4. ^ Handbook of Prayers by James Socías 2006 ISBN 0-87973-579-1 page 472
  5. ^ Juergens, Sylvester P. (2004). The Roman Missal (1962). Angelus Press. p. 114. ISBN 9781892331298.