Beautiful holy Queen

Another hymn to the Mother of God, and a very popular one.

Here is the version in the Marian Hymnal (1984):

Boh predvicnyj

And here is the Slavonic. (Does anyone know where this comes from, by the way?)


This hymn is well-known, and sung with gusto. The only problems I have with it are grammatical:

1. The refrain is not a complete sentence:

Everyone who prays to you, bowing line before your throne,
Where you shine with radiance in your love, so well-known.

Proposed solution: “Every Christian prays to you….” would keep the rhythm and is theologically reasonable (certainly every Christian OUGHT to honor God’s mother…)

2. The second verse is grammatically odd:

Mother of Jesus Christ, wearing her splendid crown,
At the court of the Lord, shines on us from her throne.

One could change this to a direct address (“Mother of Jesus Christ…. shine on us from your throne.”) but that doesn’t seem like much of an improvement. I am inclined to leave it alone.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Please leave a comment!

4 thoughts on “Beautiful holy Queen”

  1. Hello Deacon Jeff, et al:

    I appreciate trying to fix the grammar in the refrain, however I would not recommend “Every Christian prays to you.” It’s not a true statement, and as I sing it, I can’t help but be distracted by it because I know it’s not true. Not every Christian does pray to Mary, unfortunately. I would prefer if we could find something different to use.

    As for other suggestions….

    I am not a Slavonic expert but I am pretty sure the refrain in the current blue Marian Hymnal English is not a direct translation of the Slavonic. I would not advocate a major change to the current English so that it better matches the Slavonic, but since “Radujtesja” has a reference to Joy, maybe you could go with something like “Joy to all who pray to you” or “Joy to those who pray to you.”

    Or, perhaps something like “Help all those who pray to you” may be acceptable.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for consideration?

    George Nagrant
    Cantor and Choir member
    St. Nicholas Parish, Clinton Twp, MI

  2. You are right that it’s not a translation; in fact, MANY of our English verses are at best VERY look translations of the original Slavonic, because if can take 15 syllables in Slavonic to say something that in English takes 8. So hymn-writers sometimes add quite a bit in the English.

    I’m not inclined to make major changes to a well-known hymn unless there are real issues. For example, in Slavonic each verse of “Viflejemi novina” ends with some form of the name of Mary (“of Mary”, “to Mary”. etc.) Father Levkulic changed this to “O Saviour”, even when “O Saviour” doesn’t make much sense – we are sometimes singing about the Savior and to the Saviour in the same verse. In a case like this, IF the hymn gets a new translation, then yes, I would like to follow the Slavonic as closely as possible.

    1. Thanks for the reply.

      What are your thoughts on using “Joy to all who pray to you” or “Help all those who pray to you” instead of “Every Christian prays to you”?

      Best Regards,

  3. After some reflection, and singing through it a few times, I REALLY like “Joy to all who pray to you.” It keeps the latter half of the phrase, but actually adds something to the text: both an announcement of joy to those who honor the Mother of God, and an expression of that joy itself.

    I am making the change, and will probably do a blog post to point it out. Thank you!

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