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.[1] 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[2][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 fœcunda 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[3][edit]

Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

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 we, 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.
℟. O Mother of God, plead for us.
Let us pray.
O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast given unto mankind the rewards of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience her intercession for us, by whom we deserved to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.
℟. Amen.

References[edit]

  1. ^ :The Tradition of Catholic Prayer by Christian Raab, Harry Hagan 2007 ISBN 0-8146-3184-3 page 234
  2. ^ Handbook of Prayers by James Socías 2006 ISBN 0-87973-579-1 page 472
  3. ^ Miravalle, Mark I. (2006). Introduction to Mary: The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion. Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D. p. 247. ISBN 9781882972067.