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"Ave Maria" (Hail Mary) on Wikipedia

This article was retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hail_Mary" 04/22/2009

 

Contents

Biblical source



Madonna by Pompeo Batoni, 1742.
The prayer incorporates two passages from Saint Luke's Gospel: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women" (Luke 1:28: Χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη ο Κυριος μετα σου ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν / Chaire, kecharitōmenē, o Kyrios meta sou, eulogēmenē su en gynaixin) and "Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Luke 1:42: Και ειπεν ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν και ευλογημενος ο καρπος της κοιλιας σου / Kai eipen eulogēmenē su en gynaixin kai eulogēmenos o karpos tēs koilias sou). In mid-13th-century Western Europe the prayer consisted only of these words with the single addition of the name "Mary" after the word "Hail", as is evident from the commentary of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the prayer.[1]

The first of the two passages from Saint Luke's Gospel is the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, originally written in Koine Greek. The opening word of greeting, χαῖρε, chare, here translated "Hail", literally has the meaning "Rejoice", "Be glad". This was the normal greeting in the language in which Saint Luke's Gospel is written and continues to be used in the same sense in Modern Greek. Accordingly, both "Hail" and "Rejoice" are valid English translations of the word. The word κεχαριτωμένη, (kecharitōmnē), here translated as "full of grace", admits of various translations. Grammatically, the word is the feminine present perfect passive voice participle of the verb χαριτόω[2], charitō, which means "to show, or bestow with, grace" and, in the passive voice, "to have grace shown, or bestowed upon, one". The form of the verb is intensive, hence the translations "full of grace".[3] The text also appears in the account of the annunciation contained in the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Matthew, in chapter 9.
History  (source of this box)
Traces of the Hail Mary have been noted in a Syriac ritual attributed to Severus, Patriarch of Antioch (c. 513), as well as to Pope Gregory the Great (c. 540-604) and John of Damascus (c. 676749). However, the Catholic Encyclopedia admits that these examples do not warrant the conclusion that the Hail Mary was used as a specific formula of Christian devotion. It states that "there is little or no trace of the Hail Mary as an accepted devotional formula before about 1050."

Thomas Aquinas (c. 12251274) indicated that the prayer was in use in his time, with only the word "Mary" being added to the greeting of the angel Gabriel. Slightly later, the name "Jesus" seems to have been added to specify who was meant by the phrase "the fruit of thy womb."

Even the earliest Western forms have no trace of the phrases "Mother of God and Virgin" or "for thou hast given birth to the Savior of our souls," which are part of the Greek version. The term "Mother of God" ([[theotokos]]) was particularly important in Eastern tradition as a guard against the "heresy" of Nestorianism, which affirmed Mary as Mother of Christ, but not Mother of God.

The Dutch Jesuit Petrus Canisius is credited with adding the sentence: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners," which appeared for the first time in his catechism of 1555. Eleven years later, the sentence was included in the Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566. The Catechism of the Council of Trent stipulates that to the first part of the Hail Mary, by which:
We render to God the highest praise and return Him most gracious thanks, because He has bestowed all His heavenly gifts on the most holy Virgin the Church of God has wisely added prayers and an invocation addressed to the most holy Mother of God We should earnestly implore her help and assistance; for that she possesses exalted merits with God, and that she is most desirous to assist us by her prayers, no one can doubt without impiety and wickedness.
 

The Hail Mary is the essential element of the Rosary, a prayer method in use especially among Latin Rite (Western) Catholics. This tradition appears in the East only among Latinized Ukrainian and Maronite Catholics.

The Hail Mary is also the central part of the Angelus, a devotion generally recited thrice daily by many Catholics, as well as some Anglicans and Lutherans.

Anglicans also employ the Hail Mary in devotional practice. Traditional Anglo-Catholics use the prayer in much the same way as the Roman Catholics, including use of the Rosary and the recitation of the Angelus. Many Anglican churches contain statues of the Virgin Mary, and the faithful use devotional prayers including the Hail Mary. However there might be some variations in local usage, reflecting the differing theological leanings of the two bodies.
 

The prayer in Greek tradition

The Hail Mary prayer of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches is in the form: :Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη Μαρία, ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ. εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξί, καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας σου, ὅτι Σωτήρα ἔτεκες τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν.[4]

Theotokos Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have borne the Saviour of our souls.

Another English rendering of the same text reads:

Mother of God and Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast given birth to the Saviour of our souls.

To the Biblical texts this adds the opening invocation "Theotokos Virgin", the name "Mary" and the concluding "for you have borne the Saviour of our souls".

The prayer in Western (Latin) tradition

After considering the use of similar words in Syriac, Greek and Latin in the 6th century, the article on the Hail Mary[5] in the Catholic Encyclopedia concludes that "there is little or no trace of the Hail Mary as an accepted devotional formula before about 1050", though a later pious tale attributed to Ildephonsus of Toledo (fl. 7th century) the use of the first part, namely the angel's greeting the Mary, without that of Elizabeth, as a prayer.

Saint Thomas Aquinas spoke of the name "Mary", which served to indicate who was the "full of grace" person mentioned, as the only word added at his time to the Biblical text. But at about the same time the name "Jesus" was also added, to specify who was meant by the phrase "the fruit of thy womb".

The Western version of the prayer is thus not derived from the Greek version: even the earliest Western forms have no trace of the Greek version's phrases: "Mother of God and Virgin" and "for thou hast given birth to the Saviour of our souls".
To the greeting and praise of Mary of which the prayer thus consisted, a petition "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen", was added later. The petition first appeared in print in 1495 in Girolamo Savonarola's "Esposizione sopra lAve Maria"[6]. The "Hail Mary" prayer in Girolamo Savonarola's exposition reads:
 

  • 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[7]

The petition was commonly added around the time of the Council of Trent. The Dutch Jesuit Petrus Canisius is credited with adding in 1555 in his Catechism the sentence:

  • Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners. [8]


Eleven years later, the sentence was included in the Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566. The "Catechism of the Council of Trent" says that to the first part of the Hail Mary, by which "we render to God the highest praise and return Him most gracious thanks, because He has bestowed all His heavenly gifts on the most holy Virgin ... the Church of God has wisely added prayers and an invocation addressed to the most holy Mother of God ... we should earnestly implore her help and assistance; for that she possesses exalted merits with God, and that she is most desirous to assist us by her prayers, no one can doubt without impiety and wickedness."[9]

The current Latin version is thus as follows, with accents added to indicate how the prayer is said in the current ecclesiastical pronunciation of Latin:

ve Mara, grtia plna, Dminus tcum. Benedcta tu in muliribus, et benedctus frctus vntris ti, Isus.[10]
Sncta Mara, Mter Di, ra pro nbis peccatribus, nunc et in hra mrtis nstrae. men.

A version with macrons follows for any who wish to recite the prayer with the restored classical pronunciation of Latin:

Avē Marīa, grātia plēna, Dominus tēcum. Benedicta tū in mulieribus, et benedictus frūctus ventris tuī, Iēsus.
Sancta Marīa, Māter Deī, ōrā prō nōbīs peccātōribus, nunc et in hōrā mortis nostrae. Āmēn.

In English:

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.

For translations from the Latin into various languages, see Wikisource.

The prayer in Syriac Orthodox tradition

The Syriac Orthodox Church uses a version of the Hail Mary much closer to the current Western form than to the Greek version.

The prayer is said in the following manner:[11]

  • Leader: Hail Mary, full of grace,
  • People: Our Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, our Lord, Jesus Christ. O Virgin Saint Mary, O Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at all times, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Usage in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches

In the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches, the prayer is very common in the Greek form indicated above, or in translations from it. Although it is not said quite as often as in the West, it is well known, oft-used, and appears in several canons of prayer. It is typically sung thrice at the end of Vespers during an All-Night Vigil, as well as occurring many times in the course of daily prayer.

 

 

 

 

Virgin and Angels by Bouguereau, 1900.

 

Slavonic versions of the Greek prayer

There exist two variant versions in Church Slavonic:

Богородице дѣво радѹйсѧ

ωбрадованнаѧ Марїе
Господь съ тобою
благословена ты въ женахъ,
и благословенъ плодъ чрева твоегω,
 
Якω родила еси Христа Спаса,
Избавителѧ дѹшамъ нашимъ.
Theotokos Virgin, rejoice,
(or, Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos)
Mary full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
 
for thou hast borne Christ the Saviour,
the Deliverer of our souls.
Богородице дѣво, радѹйсѧ,

Благодатнаѧ Марїе,
Господь съ тобою:
благословена Ты въ женахъ,
и благословенъ плодъ чрева Твоегω;
 
якω Спаса родила еси дѹшъ нашихъ.
Theotokos Virgin, rejoice,
(or, Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos)
Mary full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
 
for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls

The first is the older, and remains in use by the Old Believers as well as those who follow the Ruthenian recension (among them the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Ruthenian Catholic Church). The second appeared in 1656 under the liturgical reforms of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow, and is in use by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church).

Usage in the Roman Catholic Church

The Hail Mary is the essential element of the Rosary, a prayer method in use especially among Latin Rite (Western) Catholics, and that appears in the East only among Latinised Ukrainian and Maronite Catholics. It consists of four sets of five Mysteries. These meditate upon events of Jesus' life during his childhood (Joyful Mysteries), public ministry (Luminous Mysteries), Passion (Sorrowful Mysteries), and from his Resurrection onwards (Glorious Mysteries). The Luminous Mysteries are of comparatively recent origin, being added by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Each of these Mysteries is prayed as a decade (a unit of ten), consisting of one Our Father (Pater Noster or The Lord's Prayer), ten Hail Marys, and one 'Glory Be' (Gloria Patri) (Doxology).

The Hail Mary is also the central part of the Angelus, a devotion generally recited thrice daily by many Catholics, as well as some Anglicans and Lutherans.

Anglican use of the Hail Mary

Anglo-Catholics also employ the Hail Mary in devotional practice. Traditional Anglo-Catholics use the prayer in much the same way as the Roman Catholics, including use of the Rosary and the recitation of the Angelus. Many Anglican churches contain statues of the Virgin Mary, and the faithful use devotional prayers including the Hail Mary. However there might be some variations in local usage, reflecting the differing theological leanings of the two bodies.

Musical settings


The Hail Mary or Ave Maria in Latin has been set to music numerous times. Among the most famous settings is the version by Charles Gounod (1859), adding melody and words to Johann Sebastian Bach's first prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier. Antonn Dvořk's version was composed in 1877. Another setting of Ave Maria was written by Giuseppe Verdi for his 1887 opera Otello. Russian composer Csar Cui, who was raised Roman Catholic, set the text at least three times: as the "Ave Maria", op. 34, for 1 or 2 women's voices with piano or harmonium (1886), and as part of two of his operas: Le Flibustier (premiered 1894) and Mateo Falcone (1907). Settings also exist by Mozart, Byrd, Elgar, Verdi, Saint-Sans, Rossini, Brahms and Perosi as well as numerous versions by less well-known composers, such as J.B. Tresch.
 

In Slavonic, the text was also a popular subject for setting to music by Eastern European composers. These include Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Bortniansky and several others.

This text was also very often set by composers in the Renaissance, including Jacques Arcadelt, Josquin Desprez, Orlando di Lasso, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Before the Council of Trent there were actually different versions of the text, so the earlier composers in the period sometimes set versions of the text different from the ones shown above. Josquin Desprez, for example, himself set more than one version of the Ave Maria. Here is an example of a text set by Josquin which begins with the first six words above, but continues with a poem in rhymed couplets:

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, Virgo serena.
Ave cuius conceptio,
solemni plena gaudio,
celestia, terrestria,
nova replet letitia.
Ave cuius nativitas,
nostra fuit solemnitas,
ut lucifer lux oriens
verum solem preveniens.
Ave pia humilitas,
sine viro fecunditas,
cuius annunciatio
nostra fuit salvatio.
Ave vera virginitas,
immaculata castitas,
cuius purificatio
nostra fuit purgatio.
Ave preclara omnibus
angelicis virtutibus,
cuius fuit assumptio
nostra glorificatio.
O Mater Dei, memento mei. Amen.



Franz Schubert's Ellens dritter Gesang (D839, Op 52 no 6, 1825) is often misidentified as "Schubert's Ave Maria" because it opens with the greeting "Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary"), even though it is not a setting of the traditional Ave Maria prayer. The original text of Schubert's song is from Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake and was translated into German by Adam Storck. Adding to the confusion, the traditional Ave Maria prayer is often sung to Schubert's melody of Ellens dritter Gesang; and in Walt Disney's Fantasia, the tune is used with yet another text beginning with the phrase.

Even though Protestant Christianity generally avoids any special veneration of Mary, access to the beautiful and culturally significant tradition of Marian music is facilitated by substitution texts. These texts are intended to replace the words of the standard "Ave Maria", preserving word boundaries and syllable stresses, so that music written for the former text can be sung with the latter. An example is the Christ-centric Ave Redemptor:


Ave redemptor, Domine Jesus:
Cuius ob opus
Superatur mors, enim salvatio
Nunc inundavit super universam terram.
Sancte redemptor, reputata
Fides est nobis peccatoribus,
Nunc et in morte, ad iustitiam.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Hail the Redeemer, Lord Jesus,
By whose work
Death is defeated, for salvation
Has now overflowed upon all of the world.
Holy redeemer, our faith
Is reckoned to us sinners,
Now and in death, as righteousness.


References

  1. ^ Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary
  2. ^ http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%23113414
  3. ^ To render the meaning of the Greek intensive verb, the early Latin translators of the New Testament, who had no corresponding verb in their language, felt the need to use the phrase "gratia plena" (full of grace).
  4. ^ text, with chanting
  5. ^ Thurston, Herbert (1910), "Hail Mary", The Catholic Encyclopedia, VII, New York: Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07110b.htm, retrieved on 2007-09-19 
  6. ^ British Library - Rare Books Department, shelfmark: IA 27542 ([1])
  7. ^ The prayer is printed in latin on the first page of the exposition and reads: "Ave Maria gratia plena Dominus tecum Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus Fructus uentris tui Iesus sancta Maria mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis Amen"
  8. ^ This sentence appeared for he first time in his catechism of 1555 : Petrus Canisius, CATECHISMI Latini et Germanici, I, ( ed Friedrich Streicher, S P C CATECHISMI Latini et Germanici, I, Roma, Munich, 1933, I, 12
  9. ^ The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part IV
  10. ^ With Pope John XXIII's edition of the Roman Missal, the use of the letter J in printing Latin was dropped even in liturgical books, which had preserved that usage long after it ceased in the printing of ordinary Latin texts, including documents of the Holy See.
  11. ^ Qawmo (For prayers of all canonical hours)

See also

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
 
Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Now playing: Ave Maria by Theresa Boesen.(1873)

Page last modified: October 27, 2011

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