Alma Redemptoris Mater

Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Ecclesiastical Latin:  [ˈalma redɛmpˈtoris ˈmatɛr]; English: Loving Mother of our Saviour) is a Marian hymn, written in Latin hexameter, and one of four seasonal liturgical Marian antiphons sung at the end of the office of Compline (the other three being Ave Regina cælorum, the Regina cœli and the Salve Regina). Hermannus Contractus (also called Herman the Cripple; 1013–1054) is said to have authored the hymn based on the writings of Saints Fulgentius, Epiphanius, and Irenaeus of Lyon. [1] It is mentioned in The Prioress's Tale, one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Formerly it was recited at compline only from the first Sunday in Advent until the Feast of the Purification (2 February).

Text

Latin [2]

Alma Redemptóris Mater, quæ pérvia cæli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succúrre cadénti,
Súrgere qui curat pópulo: tu quæ genuísti,
Natúra miránte, tuum sanctum Genitórem
Virgo prius ac postérius, Gabriélis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatórum miserére.

Depending on the period, the following combinations of a versicle, response, and collect are added. From the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve, the collect from the Fourth Sunday of Advent is used, and thereafter until the Feast of the Presentation, the collect from Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, is used.

From the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve

℣. Ángelus Dómini nuntiávit Maríæ
℟. Et concépit de Spíritu Sancto.
Oremus
Grátiam tuam quáesumus, Dómine, méntibus nostris infúnde; ut qui, ángelo nuntiánte, Christi Fílii tui Incarnatiónem cognóvimus, per passiónem ejus et crucem, ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur. Per eúmdem Christum Dóminum nostrum.
℟. Amen.

From First Vespers of Christmas until the Presentation

℣. Post Partum Virgo invioláta permansísti.
℟. Dei Génitrix, intercéde pro nobis.
Orémus
Deus, qui salútis ætérnæ beátæ Maríæ virginitáte fecúnda humáno géneri práemia præstitísti: tríbue, quáesumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercédere sentiámus, per quam merúimus, Auctórem vitæ suscípere Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum.
℟. Amen.

English translation [3]

Alma redemptoris mater.png
Mother of Christ! Hear thou thy people's cry,
Star of the deep, and portal of the sky!
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid;
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

From the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve

℣. The Angel of the LORD brought tidings unto Mary
℟. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Let us pray.
Pour forth we beseech Thee, O LORD, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may, by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ, our Lord.
℟. Amen.

From First Vespers of Christmas until the Presentation

℣. After childbirth, O Virgin, thou didst remain inviolate.
℟. Intercede for us, O Mother of God.
Let us pray.
O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession for us, through whom we deserved to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.
℟. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Hours translation [4]

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again,
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before,
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.