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Salve Regina (O sweet)

O clemens: O pia: O dulcis Virgo Maria.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

This is the part that I have a hard time singing. Not because it is a difficult chant. It is a bit drawn out with a few more notes, but that is not my point. It is hard because I get choked up. The manner in which this part of the chant was written might very well have been divinely inspired. The notes express longing, they express humility, they express love toward the Blessed Virgin. They express more than can be explained by the words that are spoken. They express awe at the wonderful manner that God gave us "such a Lady" as our Mother Mary.

She is "clement". Willing to show us mercy, not because she must, but because we are under her care. She is "loving". Love is what motivates her because the Love of God filled her more than any other person in all of creation. She is able to love us because of the great love that her Son gave to her throughout her life and continues to today. She is also "sweet Virgin Mary". Few other words can express the tenderness that she has to us, her spiritual children, and at the same time express how joyful it is to know that tenderness. She is sweet in herself, and she is sweet in our experience.

Offer up this prayer. Offer it up in the Church's form of singing that, as we are commanded in Church law, "must always take priority": Gregorian Chant. Take time to learn it so that you can offer it up with heart, mind, soul, and body. Offer up these words to Mary by God's grace so that Christ will be glorified in us all.


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