During August preachers at Sunday worship are speaking on a prayer of their choice, and encouraging us to pray the prayer.
At Benediction on the Feast of the Assumption we welcomed Fr Michael Burgess as our preacher.
Fr Michael chose to speak on the Hail Holy Queen – the Salve Regina, and at the end of Benediction we sang the Salve Regina in a metrical version (see below).
Fr Michael writes;
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus: O clement, o loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
This prayer to our Lady has been at the heart of the Church’s life for over 900 years. No one is quite sure who wrote it, but it quickly became popular as a traditional ending to the day in monasteries, and prayed in churches and homes everywhere.
As we say the words today, we join that rich tradition of prayer and turn to Mary as Queen and Mother. We come to her as we would come to our own mothers, asking for love and guidance, and seeking her protection on our journey through life.
At the end of Benediction, at the close of worship for the Feast of the Assumption, we gathered at Our Lady’s statue and sang together the Salve Regina.
(And click here for a very different version of the Salve Regina on YouTube from Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg!)