Regina Caeli – Queen of Heaven, Rejoice!

The Regina Caeli, Latin for “Queen of Heaven,” is a hymn and prayer dating back to around the 12th century, by an unknown author.  In this jubilant Eastertide hymn of praise, we celebrate with the Blessed Mother the joy of Christ’s Resurrection, and ask her prayers.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, Alleluia!  So begins the triumphant prayer traditionally said in place of the Angelus during the Easter season, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.   In the Liturgy of the Hours, it is one of the four Marian antiphons that is sung after Night Prayer (or Compline), also during the 50 days of Eastertide.  Below is the prayer in both English and Latin:

Queen of Heaven

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom thou didst 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.

Virgin Mary, Blessed Mother, Bouguereau, Madonna and Child

Virgin of the Lilies by Bouguereau, 1899.  Public domain.

Regina Caeli

V. Regina Caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus:  Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

(The Angelus, which the Regina Caeli replaces during the Easter season, is traditionally said 3 times a day, roughly at 6 am, 12 noon, and 6pm, or at least once in early morning, once at midday, and once in the evening.) 

Banner/featured image: detail of Coronation of the Virgin by Gentile da Fabriano, c. 1420.  Public domain.

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