Tonight marks the start of Advent, and so as prayer of the week to learn, here is the Marian antiphon for the season, Alma Redemptoris Mater:
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.
The hymn was composed by Blessed Herman the Cripple (1013-54) and is traditionally sung at the end of Compline (the last hour of the Office before bed).
Here is Blessed John Henry Newman's English translation:
Kindly Mother of the Redeemer,
who art ever of heaven The open gate, and the star of the sea, aid a fallen people,
Which is trying to rise again; thou who didst give birth,
While Nature marvelled how, to thy Holy Creator,
Virgin both before and after, from Gabriel's mouth
Accepting the All hail, be merciful towards sinners.
In monasteries, the version in the 'simple tone' is generally sung during the week:
But you also need to know the solemn version, used on Saturday and Sunday nights, as well as feasts: