Regina coeli (Antiphon, Versicle, Responsicle and Prayer)

Blots and Scribbles

New Member
English -- ''Received Pronunciation''
The final antiphon at all of the hours of the classical Roman Breviary in the Octave of Easter, piously recited three times a day instead of the Angelus until Pentecost.
The beautiful translation given in a devout book ("Common Prayers" pub. Society of SS. Peter and Paul in 1922) is:

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven! Alleluia! He whom thou wast meet to bear: Alleluia. As he promised hath arisen: Alleluia. Pour for us to God thy prayer: Alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary: Alleluia. R. For the Lord hath risen indeed: Alleluia.
Let us pray.
O God, who by the resurrection of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ hast given joy unto the world: grant we beseech thee; that through his mother the Virgin Mary we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Amen.

This is the translation I use devoutly and find nothing in it wanting, but am eager to restore my decayed Latin prior to going to University as a mature student after a long illness so am beginning to produce my own word-by-word and have struck a few queries I am sure you can clear up.

The Latin text is:

Regina Coeli, laetare, alleluia, Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia, Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare Virgo Maria, alleluia R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia

Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Jesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus vitae aeternae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

And my own translation:

O Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia,
For (He) whom thou hast merited to bear, alleluia,
Hath arisen, as He hath said, alleluia, Pray for us to* God, alleluia.

V. O Rejoice and be thou glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia
R. For the Lord hath risen indeed, alleluia

Let us pray.

O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, hast been pleased to gladden the world*: grant (Stelten), we beseech thee, that by his Mother the Virgin Mary we may obtain (Stelten, capio, capere, cepi, captum is "to seize, to take hold of" more usually) the joys of everlasting life.

The difficulty I seem to have is with "mundum". I presume "Deum" in the antiphon itself has a laconically omitted "ad", giving us the sense "to God" requiring the accusative. Am I correct, following HPV Nunn, that mundum is the subject of laetificare as a verb (extrem. lit. hast been pleased the world to gladden) (HPV Nunn, An introduction to Eccl. Latin, p. 50) and is in the accusative for that reason - as the subject of an infinitive per Nunn?
The dative construction in English translations would then simply be a requirement of "give joy to" rather than "gladden".
Do please forgive the almost inevitable blunders - I am at the very beginning of trying to learn the Latin of the Breviary and the Missal after six years away from any study.
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    The difficulty I seem to have is with "mundum".
    Hello Blots
    I frankly do not understand your problem with 'mundum'. Laetificare is the active infinitive of a transitive verb, and (for me) 'mundum' is clearly its direct object. ''Mundum laetificare dignatus es'' : you deigned to make the world glad.
    'Mundum' could be the subject (in an ''infinitive+accusative'' construction) if the text read 'laetificari' - which I consider utterly unlikely after 'dignatus es', because 'dignor' and the subsequent infinitive must have the same subject - just like English ''I deign to do something''.
    I hope that specialists/experts will confirm.

    Blots and Scribbles

    New Member
    English -- ''Received Pronunciation''
    My sincerest thanks - in answer to my own questions

    i) The first question is a red herring. Oro, orare, oravi, oratus takes an accusative object (like rogo) to denote that which is prayed to - Orare Deum, to pray to God. Simply a schoolboy blunder through contamination with my native tongue.

    ii) You eloquently do away with the other difficulty - both are ascribable only to beginner's failings and I apologise for imposing on the time you so kindly gave to me.