Hail, O Queen of heavenly beings!

The title literally translates Salve, Regina coelitum. The metred translation, obviously the singable one, registers it as Hail, Holy Queen enthroned above. We all know the sprightly Sister Act version of this Marian hymn. YouTube teems with an endless slew of rehashed attempts to parrot this version. And yet, we most probably also know how to sing it more reverently in harmony with the sanctity of the consecrated edifice.

Tiziano - Il Cristo risorto appare alla Madre
Il Cristo risorto appare alla Madre | Tiziano Vecellio | c. 1554

Salve, Regina coelitumWhat is probably less known about this hymn is the fact that it has an Easter version, which practically still begins with the same words. Actually, we only discovered the verses and assumed that it used the same melody as the one we already knew (click on the image to open the file). Except for the first verse, the Internet yields virtually no information about this set of lyrics, which we found in an old Spanish devocionario—the title we forget—now kept in the Special Collections of the UP Main Library. Whereas in the usual extra tempus paschale version of this hymn, both lines of the verses end with O Maria; in the tempore paschali durante version, the second O Maria is replaced with Alleluia.

We Filipinos traditionally celebrate the joy of the Blessed Virgin at the Resurrection of her Son in a mystery play we inherited from the Spanish encuentro. Enemies of Tradition, those ashamed of our sacred heritage, and those who have elected to separate themselves from the Church, often scorn this custom for being not mentioned in Holy Writ, explaining it away as superstition without any warrant of plausibility. Whilst this saddens us, we lift our eyes unto heaven and redouble our hope in the Lord. Let us, therefore, unite our jubilation with the Blessed Virgin’s, and, invoking her unfailing maternal aid, let us honour our Redeemer in His most glorious Resurrection, that we may be guided in our preparation for the celebration of the descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.


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