Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Regina Cœli

A traditional devotion for Catholics has been the Angelus. It is a prayer focused on and reminding us of the Incarnation; it is traditionally prayed thrice daily, at 6:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Traditionally as well, with each church there is a bell tower, whose bells peel out the lines of the prayer: Ring, ring, ring (pause). Ring, ring, ring (pause). Ring, ring, ring (pause). And then all heaven breaks loose with the bells ringing as quickly and loudly as they can. Each ring signaled the beginning of the versicle, response and the Hail Mary. The below is the Angelus:

V.Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ,The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R.Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Ave Maria, gratia plena...Hail Mary, full of grace...
V.Ecce, ancilla Domini,Behold, the handmaid of the Lord,
R.Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.Let it be done to me according to your word.

Ave Maria, gratia plena...Hail Mary, full of grace...
V.Et Verbum caro factum est,And the Word was made flesh,
R.Et habitavit in nobis.And dwelt among us.

Ave Maria, gratia plena...Hail Mary, full of grace...
V.Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix,Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
R.Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Oremus:Let us pray:

Gratiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde: ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.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.


However, during Easter and (insfoar as I know) only during Easter, the traditional prayer changes. It switches over to the Regina Cœli. This prayer focuses on our Lord's Resurrection. I think it is still signaled by the usual bells, but I'm not sure how the prayer lines up with the rings since there is no Hail Mary inserted. Here are the side by side Latin and English:

V.Regina Cœli, lætare, alleluia.Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R.Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.For the one whom you merited to bear, alleluia.
V.Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
R.Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.Pray to God for us, alleluia.
V.Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R.Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Oremus:Let us pray:

Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum lætificare dignatus es: præsta, quæsumus, ut, per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.O God, who through the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, did vouchsafe to give joy to the world; grant, we beseech you, that through his Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


I guess when I look at the Regina Cœli and compare it to the Angelus, I foremost notice all of the alleluias. And you can see them all throughout the Church's liturgy. At the end of all our antiphons for the Liturgy of the Hours, in the Mass, and here in her devotional life. It's as though through the centuries Christians have found every last opportunity: "Oh, here's a tiny break: Throw in another 'Alleluia!'" I love it.

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