Alma Redemptoris Mater

Alma Redemptoris Mater was composed by Herman Contractus (Herman the Cripple) (1013-1054). It is mentioned in The Prioress’ Tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which testifies to its popularity in England before Henry VIII. Contractus composed it from phrases taken from the writings of St. Fulgentius, St. Epiphanius, and St. Irenaeus. At one time Alma Redemptoris Mater was briefly used as an antiphon for the hour of Sext for the feast of the Assumption, but since the 13th century it has been a part of Compline. Formerly it was recited only from the first Sunday in Advent until the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 2), but with the revision of the Liturgy of the Hours, it can be recited anytime during the year. The traditional collects, which are not part of the original prayer, are also given below.
ALMA Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
MOTHER of Christ, 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.
Tempus Adventus During Advent
V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
V. The Angel of the Lord announced unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Oremus
Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde: ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus; per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Let us pray
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts: that as we have known the incarnation of Thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so too by His Cross and passion may we be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Amen.
Donec Purificatio From Christmas Eve until the Purification
V. Post partum, Virgo, inviolata permansisti.
R. Dei Genetrix, intercede pro nobis.
V. After childbirth thou didst remain a virgin.
R. Intercede for us, O Mother of God.
Oremus
Deus, qui salutis aeternae, beatae Mariae virginitate fecunda, humano generi praemia praestitisti: tribue, quaesumus; ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere, Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum. Amen.
Let us pray
O God, who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the reward of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Amen.

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