Monday, 2 July 2012

Salve Regina for Night Prayer


Hi there.

I was labouring for some time under the delusion that Night Prayer includes the Lord’s Prayer, and was thinking about blogging a musical setting of that. Then I looked, and found that this was not the case. What do feature in Night Prayer are the Marian anthems, which I must admit I’ve never included, probably because you have to go to another page, and I find it always seems a bit late to turn to another page at that stage – I expect my canonisation is in the post.

Anyway, I can remedy that if I commit an anthem to memory, as I’m trying to do with the psalm tones, so I shall. There are four anthems, for various periods of the year, but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, so I was planning on learning the one which seems to correspond to the most “ordinary” liturgical period (first Vespers of Trinity Sunday until None of the Saturday before Advent!), the Salve Regina.

An mp3 (no. 545) is available courtesy of the Adoremus Hymnal site.

I intend to memorise some of the psalms in Italian, since my daughter is Italian (100% British, 100% Italian – a bit like the hypostatic union) and I shall have a go at learning this in the Latin original. In fact, loads of people here seem to know it off by heart already, and it might be the same for English Catholics for all I know. Well, I don’t know the words, what they mean, or the melody! Here’s the chant notation, with the Latin, and a literal translation that I lifted and modified:
Hail, Queen, merciful Mother,
[our] life, [our] sweetness, and our hope, hail.
To you we cry, exiles, children of Eve,
to you we sigh, mourning and weeping
in this vale of tears.
O, therefore, our advocate,
turn your merciful eyes toward us;
and Jesus, blessed fruit of your womb,
to us, after this exile, show.
O kind, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Now, here's a thing I've done for my own benefit, a learning module for MemoryLifter. I like plugging MemoryLifter, since it helped me to learn a lot of Italian vocabulary despite my lousy memory. Anyway, my module has the text broken down as above: you try to remember the next line. I've also inlcluded the literal translation, audio and the notation above. With any luck it should all trickle into my brain together, and since I made it for myself I've put it here too.

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