Ave Maris Stella
A Gregorian plainchant rendition of Hail Star of the Sea, one of the most ancient and popular hymns dedicated to Mary. It dates back to at least the 9th century.
Hail, star of the sea,
Nurturing Mother of God,
And ever Virgin
Happy gate of Heaven.
The ancient Marian antiphon Hail Holy Queen sung by the Gregorian Schola of the University of Strasbourg.
The Marian antiphon Salve Regina sung by the Schola Grégorienne of the university of Strasburg.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, 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 valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
The antiphon Adorna Thalamum Tuum is sung in the Catholic church during the Candlemas procession. It was composed by St John of Damascus.
Adorn thy bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ the King: embrace Mary, who is the gate of heaven, who herself truly brings the glorious King of new light.
She remains a virgin, though bearing in her hands a Son begotten before the daystar, whom Simeon, taking him in his arms, proclaimed to the people to be the Lord of life and death, and Saviour of the world.
The Catholic hymn Virgo Dei Genitrix, sung in the Gregorian tone:
O Virgin Mother of God, He Whom the whole world does not contain, enclosed Himself in thy womb, being made man.
True faith in thy begotten Son has cast out the sins of the world, and for thee virginity remains inviolate.
Thou art the Mother of divine love, Thou the aiding power the world cries out to: come in aid, O blessed one, of thy servants.
Great glory be to the Father, equal glory to the Son, great glory to God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The joyful Marian hymn Ave Plena Gratiae, sung by the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.
Hail, full of grace, Mother of mercy, holy Mary.
Through you the fountain of all grace flows for the Church, holy Mary.
Graced by the angels’ praises, accept the praise of us sinners, holy Mary.
The hope of the forsaken, the deceased, the joy of saints, holy Mary.
O holy and immaculate virginity,
I know not, by what praises I may extol thee:
for thou hast born in thy womb,
whom the heavens could not contain.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Gaudens gaudebo in Domino
This is the introit of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, sung at the beginning of today’s Mass.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath covered me, as a bride adorned with her jewels.
I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me.
The Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater is sung in the Catholic Church from the first Sunday of Advent, which is today, until Candlemas.
Loving Mother of our Savior, hear thou thy people’s cry. Star of the deep and Portal of the sky! Mother of Him who thee made from nothing made. Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid: Oh, by what joy which Gabriel brought to thee, Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.
Inviolata is an 11th century hymn of praise for Mary. It is sung here by the Benedictine monks of the abbey of Saint Maurice and Saint Maur of Clervaux.
Inviolate, spotless and pure art thou,
O Mary, who wast made
the radiant gate of the King.
Holy mother of Christ most dear,
receive our devout hymn and praise.
Our hearts and tongues now ask of thee,
that our souls and bodies may be pure.
By thy sweet sounding prayers,
obtain for us forgiveness forever.
O gracious one, O queen, O Mary,
who alone among women art inviolate.
Salve Sancta Parens
The introit Hail Holy Mother is traditionally sung at the beginning of the Catholic votive Mass in honour of Mary. It dates from the 13th or the 14th century, when it was already sung on most Marian feasts.
Hail Holy Mother, who in childbirth didst bring forth the King Who ruleth heaven and earth world without end. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.
A Gregorian chant notation of the Magnicat from the Liber Usualis (1961), sung by the monks of Liguge Abbey.
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.