For over 270 years Christians have sung (or said) the Regina Coeli in place of the Angelus during the great Easter season.
The joy of Easter breaks through time and space and we dare to encourage the saints and Mary, the Queen of Heaven – Regina Coeli – especially, to join our praise (laetare) of our Risen Lord and God. The joy of Mary is especially brought out in the anthem for he whom she bore (quia quem meruisti poratre): “He is Risen.” Resurrexit. Alleluia.
In need of prayer and comfort, though, we also seek one another’s prayers and so at the end of the Regina Coeli we also ask “Pour for us to him thy prayer.” The Latin is more simple and direct, Ora pro nobis Deum, pray for us to God.
Last year when in France I attended a Mass celebrated in French. I could follow most but couldn’t join in the singing. The people sang what was to them familiar responses and chants. At the end the priest led all in singing the Regina Coeli in Latin and here I could join in! I had sung the version used many times as a curate and the chant used today was the simple plainsong version given here.
At St Chrysostom’s Regina Coeli is sung out after Sunday Mass in Eastertide. As with the Angelus it is a moment of popular devotion, and adults and children join, with children and carers coming to Our Lady’s statue to sing. We sing in English, of course, and usually use the tune EASTER HYMN, (sometimes in Ascensiontide replacing the tune with LLANFAIR)