Before Divine Mercy Sunday on Sunday, remembering our Blessed Lady, Mary, Mother of the Risen One and of the Church, is a very good idea.
I remember some years ago there was a Carmelite friar in his declining years who came to our parish (when I was still in Australia for studies) to substitute for the parish priest, away on leave over Easter due to unwellness.
He believed that I appeared to be someone of influence in the choir (although I still don’t know what made him think that), but he approached me and said he would be a very happy old Carmelite friar if we would only sing the Regina Coeli before processing out from the sanctuary at the end of the Easter Vigil.
We were all only too happy to oblige and without delay browbeated the organist/choirmaster to engage in a bit of unpaid overtime to get a half decent Regina Coeli up and running.
At the end of the Regina Coeli, all and sundry in the choir, not to mention the congregation, were beaming their happiness and the Carmelite friar needed reminding that he should get a move-on now just like everybody else, so moved was he by the prayer.
This just confirmed my belief that any prayers or hymns to our Blessed Mother inevitably fill us in return with the purest sweetness and serenity, such that we find it at least a little difficult to get away. Well that is my experience and I am sure I’m not unique.
This is the Easter Marian hymn in which we call Mary to rejoice because of the perfect joy brought by the Resurrection of Her only Son. This simplest and most direct of prayers can replace the Angelus during the whole Easter Season.
Once again the chant is arranged somewhat sentimentally by Monsignor Marco Frisina of the Diocese of Rome. Many will say that some of the images and parts of the music are kitsch, but who cares? We are not “Anglo-Catholics”.
Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.