The Easter prayer Regina Coeli (“Queen of Heaven” in Latin) is a wonderful tribute to our Lord’s resurrection and to the Blessed Virgin Mary (pictured in her Coronation above). While the authorship of the Regina Caeli is unknown, the hymn has been traced back to the twelfth century.
It was in Franciscan use, traditionally said or sung after Compline (night prayers) at the end of the day, immediately before going to sleep. There is a legend that says St. Gregory the Great, heard the first three lines chanted by angels on a certain Easter morning in Rome, while he walked barefoot in a great religious procession and immediately after, added the fourth line: “Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia.”
The Regina Coeli is one of four antiphons (short liturgical texts sung or chanted, often as seen below, in a responsorial pattern) dedicated to Our Lady. It is often sung as a hymn and has had numerous musical settings in its original Latin text, including several by Mozart.
Traditionally, it is prayed standing, often at noon, in place of the Angelus, during the Easter Season from Holy Saturday until Pentecost.
Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has 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 has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray: O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.