Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 17: Hildegard von Bingen

The Collect, via Satucket:
O God, by whose grace your servant Hildegard, kindled with the fire of your love, became a burning and shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The First Lesson comes from one of my favorite of all books:
Sirach 43:1-2, 6-7, 9-12, 27-28

The pride of the higher realms is the clear vault of the sky,
as glorious to behold as the sight of the heavens.
The sun, when it appears, proclaims as it rises
what a marvelous instrument it is, the work of the Most High.
It is the moon that marks the changing seasons,
governing the times, their everlasting sign.
From the moon comes the sign for festal days,
a light that wanes when it completes its course.
The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven,
a glittering array in the heights of the Lord.
On the orders of the Holy One they stand in their appointed places;
they never relax in their watches.
Look at the rainbow, and praise him who made it;
it is exceedingly beautiful in its brightness.
It encircles the sky with its glorious arc;
the hands of the Most High have stretched it out.
We could say more but could never say enough;
let the final word be: "He is the all."
Where can we find the strength to praise him?
For he is greater than all his works.

Here is a video labelled "'O Ierusalem', la Séquence de Saint Rupert"; the singers are "Sequentia Women's and Instrumental Ensemble;Maria Jonas;Diane Severson;Allegra Silbiger."

At, you'll find a few mp3 samples of her work, and this blurb, explaining the "St. Rupert" reference:
After being forgotten for several centuries, Hildegard von Bingen is recognized today as one of the universal minds in Western culture. The abbess at the monastery of Saint-Rupert close to the town of Bingen, Hildegard was a composer, writer, physician and visionary who lived in the 12th century AD.

Below is another video, this one labelled "Hildegard of Bingen, O magne Pater." Here's the blurb over there:
III. Antiphon from the vesper of St. Hildegard of Bingen, Schola of Benedictine sisters of Abbey St. Hildegard, Eibingen.

O großer Vater, III. Antiphon aus der Vesper der Hl. Hildegard von Bingen, Schola der Benediktinerinnenabtei St. Hildegard, Eibingen

And here is "Spiritus Sanctus," which I believe I've sung parts of:

Here's an article at the Fordham server about Hildegard. I still love this little poem, which I was introduced to about 5 years ago at a time when I was really hardly very interested in any of this stuff and was actively furious at the church (even more than I am now!):
Holy Spirit,
Giving life to all life,
Moving all creatures,
Root of all things,
Washing them clean,
Wiping out their mistakes,
Healing their wounds,
You are our true life,
Luminous, wonderful,
Awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.

There's an interesting variety of images of Hildegard out there; for some reason I'm partial to this one:

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