"Alma Redemptoris Mater" Lyrics and Translation

Music by Palestrina

Palestrina. Print Collector /Getty Images

This liturgical work composed by Renaissance composer, Palestrina, is is an extremely melodic and fluid choral work composed in the late 1500s with a libretto written nearly 500 years before that. Because of its content, the work is often performed during Advent and Epiphany, when the Catholic church ponders and meditates on the mysteries of Blessed Mary and her virgin birth.

Latin Lyrics

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.

English Translation

Sweet Mother of the Redeemer, the passage to the heavens,
the gate of the spirits of the dead, and the star of the sea, aid the falling.
Mother of Him who cares for the people: you who brought forth
the wonder of Nature, your Creator.
Virgin before and after, who received of Gabriel
with joyful greeting, have pity on us sinners.