Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Regina Coeli: Fr. Andersen
From Fr. Eric Andersen’s Bulletin Letter for Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Sacred Heart-St. Louis Parish in Gervais, OR.
During most of the year, when we hear the Angelus bells ring here at the parish at 7 am, noon, and 6 pm, we should stop what whatever we are doing and recite the Angelus (“The angel of the Lord declared to Mary, etc.). But during Easter, when we hear the Angelus bells, we do not say the Angelus. Instead, we recite or sing the anthem called the “Regina Coeli” (Be Joyful Mary, Heavenly Queen). These last two Sundays, we have sung this anthem at both of the Sunday morning Masses. “There is a venerable tradition connected with this joyous anthem”. The Venerable Dom. Prosper Gueranger continues:
It is related that a fearful pestilence raged in Rome, during one of the Easters of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great. In order to propitiate the anger of God, the holy Pope prescribed a public procession of both people and clergy, in which was to be carried the portrait of our blessed Lady painted by St. Luke. The procession was advancing in the direction of St. Peter’s; and as the holy picture, followed by the Pontiff, was carried along, the atmosphere became pure and free from pestilence. Having reached the bridge which joins the city with the Vatican, a choir of angels was heard singing above the picture, and saying: ‘Rejoice, O Queen of heaven, alleluia! for He whom thou didst deserve to bear, alleluia! hath risen, as He said, alleluia!’ As soon as the heavenly music ceased, the saintly Pontiff took courage, and added these words to those of the angels: ‘Pray to God for us, alleluia!’ Thus was composed the Paschal anthem to our Lady. Raising his eyes to heaven, Gregory saw the destroying angel standing on the top of the Mole of Hadrian (Hadrian’s tomb, built circa 130 AD), and sheathing his sword. In memory of this apparition the Mole was called the Castle of Sant’ Angelo, and on the dome was placed an immense statue representing an angel holding his sword in the scabbard.” (Gueranger. The Liturgical Year. Vol. 8, p. 98).
In honor of Our Lady during this Easter Season, we will continue singing this anthem at Mass (#449 in the St. Michael Hymnal). This is the prayer:
Regina Coeli, laetare, alleluia,
Rejoice, O Queen of heaven, alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare alleluia,
For He whom thou didst deserve to bear, alleluia.
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia,
Hath risen, as He said, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Pray to God for us, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
R. For the Lord hath truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray.
O God, who by the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, didst vouchsafe to make the world rejoice; grant, we beseech thee, that by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may receive the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the Divine assistance remain with us always. Amen.