Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Marian Antiphons: Salve Regina

The four Marian Antiphons have traditionally been sung at the end of Compline - each one during a particular season of the Church Year.   Salve Regina is sung from the day after Pentecost Sunday until the first Sunday of Advent.

Here's a video of the antiphon sung to the Simple Tone by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos; chant score is from the Liber Usualis (1961), p 279.    (English translation below.)

Here's the chant score of the Simple Tone version, from the Liber Usualis:

And this is the antiphon sung to the Solemn Tone by the Schola of the Hofburgkapelle Vienna (1984); chant score is from the Liber Usualis (1961), p 276.

Here's the chant score of the Solemn Tone version, from the Liber Usualis:

This comes from "Singing the Four Seasonal Marian Anthems," by Lucy Carroll, published in Adoremus; it includes an English translation of the antiphon:
The Salve Regina has also been credited to Herimann the Lame (Hermanus Contractus), monk of Reichenau, but it is also attributed to Adhemar de Monteil (+1098) and Saint Bernard (+1153). It has become a traditional Carmelite hymn, sung at Carmelite events throughout the world. It is sung as a seasonal anthem from the day after Pentecost Sunday until the first Sunday of Advent. As a spoken prayer, it has also been added to the conclusion of the rosary, so it is perhaps the most familiar of these four texts to Catholics.
Salve Regina, mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra salve. Ad te clamamus, exules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes, in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, advocate nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos, ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O Clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.
This early translation is by the Reverend Adrian Fortescue, 1913:
Hail holy queen, mother of mercy, hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary.
While parishes may not include the seasonal anthem each Sunday, it is to be recommended that the Regina Caeli be sung at Easter, and the Alma Redemptoris at Christmas Mass, and that the anthems be sung by choir and congregation sometime during the seasons.

Here are links to posts about all four antiphons on Chantblog:
 Here's more from the article linked above:
Visitors to our Carmelite monastery sometimes ask why we do two hymns at the end of Mass. We don’t; one is the seasonal Marian anthem, the other is a recessional hymn.


The four great seasonal Marian antiphons come from the Divine Office, office of Compline, the last of the sung hours of the day. At the close of Compline, one of the four seasonal Marian prayers was sung: Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Caelorum, Regina Caeli, or Salve Regina.

Today the Divine Office is known as the Liturgy of the Hours, and Compline has become “Night Prayer”. Today there is the choice of those four hymns or a few others, including the Hail Mary. Traditionally, at Compline, the Latin anthem was followed by seasonal declamations and a prayer. When sung at the conclusion of Mass, only the anthem is sung.

In a Marian house, the seasonal anthem is sung on Sundays and Marian feasts throughout the year at the conclusion of Mass. At our monastery, the nuns, choir, and congregation all join in the Latin chant.

This custom is retained in many churches and cathedrals on Christmas (Alma Redemptoris) and Easter (Regina Caeli), as was seen in the Masses at the Vatican this past year.

Each anthem has a beautiful text, each chant is quite melodic. This is a tradition we at Carmel very much treasure. While we sing the traditional chant melodies at Carmel, these texts have been set to music for choirs by many composers over the ages, most notably Palestrina.

This is Raphael's Madonna dell Granduca, from around 1505:

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