The History and Meaning of the Regina Caeli

The Easter season is fifty days – from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. During this season, we swap out one of the Church’s traditional prayers for another. Can you guess which?

While Catholics pray the Angelus for the vast majority of the year, during Easter we pray the Regina Caeli. The Angelus prayer dates back to the Middle Ages and commemorates the Incarnation of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and is usually prayed at 6am, noon, and 6pm.

Regina Caeli is Latin for “Queen of Heaven”. This prayer dates back to the 12th or 13th century and its author is unknown. It is a tribute to our Blessed Mother and an exclamation of joy at the Resurrection of our Lord.

While the Angelus remembers the Angel Gabriel’s message to Mary and her Fiat to God’s plan for salvation, the Regina Caeli celebrates that ‘yes’ through which the Redeemer entered the world and subsequently rose from the dead. After the immense sorrow of the Mother of God at witnessing the suffering and death of her Son, this prayer acknowledges her joy at His rising from the dead.

From now through Pentecost, pray the Regina Caeli! Find it in the prayer menu on the free Relevant Radio app or pray it with us during our LIVE broadcast of the Holy Mass each day at noon CT.

Regina Caeli

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice! Alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear. Alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said. Alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God. Alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen. Alleluia.

Let us pray:
O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life, through the same Christ our Lord.

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.