Marian Antiphon: Ave Maria

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

At the end of Compline we recite a Marian antiphon, such as the Hail Mary. Greeting Our Lady is the Church’s last official act each day.

Ave Maria = Hail Mary, the archangel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary at the annunciation. Ave is an expression of greeting. Salve has a similar meaning, which is the first word of the Hail Holy Queen / Salve Regina.

gratia plena = full of grace. Plena can be taken as an adjective, from plenus,a,um, full, or filled. Plena agrees with Maria (singular, feminine) while gratia is an ablative of means: You are filled with grace.

Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus = Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Absent in the Latin are the words es and est, which are often left out and implied. Benedicta es tu, benedictus est Iesus isn’t necessary, just as in modern Italian the word Io, meaning “I”, is quite often omitted because it is implied by the verb: Ho mangiato della pasta / I have eaten some pasta.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei = Holy Mary, Mother of God. Technically the first three words are in the vocative case, however only the second declension has a differing form for the vocative, so while these words perform the function of addressing someone, they do not change.

ora pro nobis peccatoribus = Pray for us sinners. Ora is from oro,orare, to pray. It is an imperative.

nunc et in hora mortis nostrae = now and at the hour of our death.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s