The Marian Antiphon at the Conclusion of Night Prayer
Ever since we began praying Night Prayer from The Liturgy of the Hours, we have chanted or recited some Marian Antiphon at its conclusion. There is much latitude about which Marian Antiphon is chosen. Traditionally, the Alma Redemptoris Mater has been used from the First Sunday of Advent until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2nd.
According to writings from Saints Irenaeus of Lyons, Epiphanius and Fulgentius, Herman the Cripple (1013–1054) authored this hymn, which is mentioned in The Prioress’sTale by Geoffrey Chaucer.
Both the Latin and the English versions are given to us in the Breviary. Here is the English text provided by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy for The Liturgy of the Hours currently in use.
Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again,
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before,
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.
What a wealth of reflection as we turn our hearts to the Ever-Virgin at the end of the day!