Legend attributes at least the first three lines of this Easter prayer to St. Gregory the Great in 604, when he heard angels sing the first three lines. The prayer has traditionally been offered during the Easter season:
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, Alleluia,
For He whom you did merit to bear, Alleluia,
Has risen as He said, Alleluia.
Pray for us to God, Alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, Alleluia.
Let us pray.
O God, who gave joy to the world through the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Listen to the Mozart version to take this to higher heights.
To bring our Blessed Mother into the center of the Easter celebration honors her role as mediatrix and honors the fullness of the Easter story. Her yes to cooperate with Grace brought the Savior to the world. She bore Jesus in humility, and “pondered in her heart” the strange parade of shepherds and gifts, included burial oils, by the wise men. She watched Jesus’ divinity emerge amidst his very human babyhood and childhood, and she let him go when it was time for him to begin preparation for his ministry, including his 40 days in the desert. She joined his followers, walked with him, encouraged, watched and prayed as he fulfilled all that God sent him to the world to do. She stood at the foot of the cross and watched his agony, joined with her own mother’s agony. She was there to discover the resurrection, and she was with the 12 in the upper chamber to receive Jesus’ visitations and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lady remains at the heart of the Easter mystery. What better way to honor Our Lord’s Resurrection than through she who bears him and who always beckons us to Him. Pray the Regina Coeli in place of the Angelus during these 50 days of the Easter season. Traditionally this is offered minimally at noon, but also at 6 am and 6 pm.
Blessed Easter to all!