Ave Regina caelorum

  • Instrumentation: SSAA div. unaccompanied
  • Duration: 5 minutes
  • Author/lyricist: 4th century
  • Language: Latin
  • Year: 2019
  • Licensing: Boosey & Hawkes

"Ave Regina caelorum" (Hail, O Queen of Heaven) is one of the four Marian antiphons. The origins of the prayer are unknown but it is thought to have been written in the 4th century. The rewarding challenge of this joyous work is to sing rhythmically, up-tempo, smiling, and with energy, while still keeping it light, flowing, and relaxing in the mood. Although it is largely homophonic, special attention should be given to the timing of any rhythmical variations between the parts so it does not sound uneven and all the parts remain unified in their interaction.

Commissioned and premiered by Cantus (Trondheim, Norway) and conductor Tove Ramlo-Ystad, on 23 March 2019 at Vår Frue Kirke, Trondheim.


Ave Regina cælorum,

Ave Domina Angelorum:

Salve radix, salve porta,

Ex qua mundo lux est orta:

Gaude Virgo gloriosa,

Super omnes speciosa:

Vale, o valde decora,

Et pro nobis Christum exora.


English translation:

Hail, O Queen of Heaven,

Hail, O Lady of Angels:

Hail thou root, hail thou gate,

From whom the light of the world has arisen:

Rejoice, O glorious Virgin,

Beautiful above all others,

Farewell, most beautiful maiden,

And pray for us to Christ.