Thanks to Pastor Weedon for this blog post, which I’m simply copying here. I should note that the book to which Pastor Weedon refers in his post prefaces the reworked prayer by noting that the Reginia Coeli, is an evil prayer in its original form.
That is, fixed, emended. Today I’ve had the joy [thanks to a heads up from Pr. Paul McCain and the kind sharing of Pr. Ben Mayes] of looking over two texts that were rewritten, apparently by Urbanus Rhegius (confessor of Smalcald and evangelical bishop of Lüneburg). The originals were very popular and beloved antiphons to the Blessed Virgin. In the Lutheran Reformation, they were transformed into hymns to Christ (and the original chant lines preserved). I’m no Latinist, so pardon any goof ups in the translations, but I think they’re mostly on target:
Here’s the Salve Regina:
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Hail, Queen, Mother of mercy,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
our life, sweetness and hope, hail!
ad te clamamus
to you we cry
exsules filii Hevae,
exiled sons of Eve.
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
to you we send up our sighs, groaning and moaning
in hac lacrimarum valle.
in this valley of tears
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
Turn, our advocate, upon us
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
Your merciful eyes
et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
And Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
show to us after this exile,
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
What happens with the Lutherans got hold of it? Check it out:
SAlue Iesu Christe, Rex misericordiæ,
Hail, Jesus Christ, King of mercy,
vita dulcedo & spes nostra,salue,
Our life, sweetness, and hope, hail!
ad te clamamus exules filij Euæ,
To you we cry, exiled sons of Eve
ad te suspiramus gementes & flentes,
To you we send up our sighs and moanings
in hac lacrymarum valle,
in this valley of tears,
Eya ergo, aduocate noster, illos tuos
Turn, therefore, our Advocate upon us
misericordes oculos ad nos conuerte,
Your merciful eyes
O Iesu benedicte, faciem patris tui nobis
O blessed Jesus, show to us the face of your Father
post hoc exilium ostende,
after this exile.
O clemens, O pie, O dulcis Iesu Christe.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Jesus Christ.
Similarly, the Regina Coeli:
Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare. alleluia,
For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
Is risen, as He said, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, Virgin Mary, alleluia.
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Because the Lord is risen indeed, alleluia.
is now sung with these words to the old chant:
LÆtemur in Christo redemptore Alleluia
Rejoice in Christ the Redeemer Alleluia
quia quem percussit pater ob scelus populi sui Alleluia.
For he was struck by the Father for the sins of his people Alleluia.
Resurrexit (Cœlos ascendit / Spirtum
misit) sicut dixit (sicut dixit / Vt promisit) Alleluia.
He is risen (to heaven ascended/ sent the Spirit) just as He said (as He said / as He promised) Alleluia
Ora pro nobis Christe, qui ad dexteram Dei Patris locatus es
Pray for us, Christ, who at the right hand of God the Father are located
victor peccati, mortis, inferni,
Victor over sin, death, hell,
vnus es nobis propitiator pontifex, ecclesiæ caput:
Our one propitator, high priest, the church’s head
O rex pie, Fac nos tecum resurgere (Fac nos tecum ascendere / Da nobis tuum
O loving King, make us rise with you (make us ascend with you / give to us your Spirit). Alleluia.
If the medieval Marian cult had for all intents and purposes shoved our Lord off the center and placed His most holy Mother there, it only makes sense that in the Lutheran Reformation, the beauty of the chants would be retained, but the spotlight would shift from the the Most Blessed Virgin to Him who was born of her, and to the triumph of what He accomplished and His constant intercession for us before His Father.
[The emended texts, by the bye, came from this work that Pr. Mayes showed to Pr. McCain this a.m. - I'm jealous! I want a copy!!!]