Ave Regina caelorum
The Ave Regina caelorum is sung as the concluding votive antiphon of the Divine Office during the pre-Lent and Lenten seasons, i.e. from the Feast of the Presentation (2nd February) until Maundy Thursday.
It appears to be of monastic origin but the author is unknown (dating from around the 12th century). Herman Contractus (+1054) is often suggested as the author, for he wrote several popular Marian antiphons around then. This antiphon is one of the traditional concluding antiphons for Compline in use since the 13th century. It is traditionally recited from the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 2) until Wednesday in Holy Week.
View the Wikipedia article on Ave Regina caelorum.
Musical settings at CPDL
Other settings possibly not included in the manual list above
- Josquin des Prez — Alma Redemptoris mater - Ave Regina caelorum
Text and translations
The text of this antiphon appears to have remained fairly unchanged since the 12th century, lines 3 & 8 being standardized as noted below in the Breviary of Pope Clement VIII, published in 1602. Dufay's setting is unique in ending with an Alleluia, which probably stems from the earlier use of the antiphon at the Annunciation.
Ave Regina coelorum,
Hail, O Queen of Heav'n enthron'd,
Salve, reina de los cielos,