Notes from Father Brendan

July 7, 2024

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Here at St. Pius X parish, at the end of each Mass we chant a Marian hymn. I have been asked by many after Masses, “What is that hymn? What language is that?” They are Marian antiphons, and we chant them in Latin, the language of the Church.

These are ancient and beautiful prayers directed toward the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are four different hymns that pertain to the different liturgical seasons. The four great seasonal Marian antiphons come from the Divine Office, office of Compline, otherwise known as “Night Prayer.” These are the last prayers of the day, and at the close of Compline one of the four seasonal Marian prayers are sung.

From the First Sunday of Advent until the Feast of the Presentation (February 2), we chant Alma Redemptoris Mater

From February 2nd through the Easter Vigil, we chant Ave Regina Caelorum

From the Easter Vigil through Pentecost Sunday, we chant Regina Caeli

During the rest of the year, consisting of those Sundays of Ordinary Time from Pentecost until the first Sunday of Advent, we chant the Salve Regina. This is the most well-known of the Marian antiphons, as a spoken prayer it has been added to the conclusion of the rosary.

I hope for all of us to become intimately familiar with each of these ancient prayers. Having the text and translation of this beautiful hymn will increase our familiarity with it, and hopefully encourage us to recite this prayer dutifully and well!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Brendan


Salve, Regina / mater misericordiae; /
Hail, Holy Queen mother of mercy

vita, dulcedo /et spes nostra, salve. /
our life, sweetness and our hope, Hail!

Ad te clamamus / exsules filii Hevae./
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve

Ad te suspiramus / gementes et flentes /
To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping

in hac lacrimarum valle. /
in this valley of tears.

Eia ergo, / advocata nostra, /
Turn then, most gracious advocate

illos tuos / misericordes oculos / ad nos converte. /
your merciful eyes toward us

Et Iesum, / benedictum fructum ventris tui, /
And Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb,

nobis / post hoc exsilium / ostende. /
show unto us, after this, our exile.

O clemens, / o pia, / o dulcis / Virgo Maria!
O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary!