English translation of
Alma Redemptoris Mater
Sweet Mother of the Redeemer,
that passage to heaven,
gate of the morning,
and star of the sea:
Assist the fallen,
lift up, you who cure, the people:
you who bore to the wonderment of nature,
your holy Creator.
Virgin before and after,
who received from Gabriel
that joyful greeting,
have mercy on us sinners.
Click here for the Latin lyrics.
This Marian hymn is sung after Compline during the Liturgical seasons of Advent and Epiphany, when it replaces the Salve Regina. The Church prizes devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary so highly, and deems it so necessary, that she requires all her priests and religious to sing a hymn to her as the last thing they do every single day.
This hymn focuses on the happy privilege of Mary being chosen to be the mother of God ("who received from Gabriel"), and how she gave birth to the Redeemer. Because of this privilege, she has become our hope ("star of the sea"). So it is most fitting to hear this hymn during Advent and Epiphany, when the Church wants us to meditate on those very mysteries.
There are two chant versions of this prayer: the solemn version, sung on Sundays and feast days, and the simple version. The solemn version is longer, but they are both beautiful. Chant Compendium 1 contains the solemn version.
This is found on the following CD(s) in Latin:
Chant Compendium 1.
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