About Me

My photo
I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. My translation of Hildegard's Book of Divine Works is available from Catholic University of America Press here. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Friday, December 27, 2013

O speculum columbe (Symphonia 35)

An Antiphon for the Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

St. John, the beloved disciple,
resting with Jesus.
Andachtsbild, carved and
painted wood, ca. 1320.
From the Dominican convent
in Sankt-Katharinenthal
Museum Mayer van den Bergh,
Antwerp / Web Gallery of Art.
O speculum columbe
castissime forme,
qui inspexisti misticam
in purissimo fonte:

O mira floriditas
que numquam arescens cecidisti,  
quia altissimus plantator
     misit te:

O suavissima quies
amplexuum solis:
tu es specialis filius Agni
in electa amicicia
nove sobolis.
O mirror of the dove—
the perfect form of chastity—
you gazed upon the mystic
within the clearest font:

O wondrous, flourished bloom
that never withered, never fell—
the Gardener on high
     has sent you forth:

O sweet repose
of sunshine’s warm embrace:
the Lamb’s especial son you are
within that privileged friendship of
a new posterity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

O factura Dei (Symphonia R 405rb)

For Christmas, the Nativity of the Lord, a Verse on the Incarnation
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

God enthroned upon
the mountain, with
Fear of the Lord (L)
& Poor in Spirit (R),
Scivias I.1.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 2r.
O factura Dei que es homo,
in magna sanctitate edificata es,
quia sancta divinitas
in humilitate celos penetravit.
O quam magna pietas est
quod in limo terre deitas claruit,    
et quod angeli Deo ministrantes
Deum in humanitate vident.
O what a work of God you are, O human,
forged and established in great holiness—
for now divinity most holy has
the heavens pierced in your humility.
How great indeed that loving kindness is,
as in the earthy clay the Godhead beamed,
the angels in their ministry to God
see now that God within humanity.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

O splendidissima gemma (Symphonia 10)

For the Fourth Sunday in Advent, an Antiphon for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias I.4:
Conception of
Soul and Body.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 22r (detail)
O splendidissima gemma
et serenum decus solis
qui tibi infusus est,
fons saliens
de corde Patris,
quod est unicum Verbum suum,
     per quod creavit
mundi primam materiam,
quam Eva turbavit.

Hoc Verbum effabricavit
tibi Pater hominem,
et ob hoc es tu illa
     lucida materia
per quam hoc ipsum Verbum
omnes virtutes,
     ut eduxit
in prima materia omnes creaturas. 
O jewel resplendent
and bright and joyous beauty of the sun
that’s flooded into you—
the fountain leaping
from the Father’s heart.
This is his single Word
     by which he did create
the world’s primordial matter,
a motherhood into confusion cast by Eve.

This Word the Father made
for you into a man—
and this is why you are that bright
     and shining matter,
through which that Word
     has breathed
forth every virtue’s pow’r,
     as he brought forth
all creatures in a primal motherhood.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

O Verbum Patris (Symphonia R 404va)

A Verse for Word and Wisdom by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.1: Creation
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 41v (detail)
O Verbum Patris,
tu lumen prime aurore
in circulo rote es,
omnia in divina vi operans.
O tu prescientia Dei,
omnia opera tua previdisti,
sicut voluisti,
ita quod in medio potencie tue latuit   
quod omnia prescivisti,
et operatus es
quasi in similitudine rote
cuncta circueuntis,
que inicium non accepit
nec in fine prostrata est.
O Word of the Father,
you are the first dawn’s light
within the circuit of the wheel,
performing all in energy divine.
O God’s foreknowledge,
you have foreseen your every deed
according to your will—
all that you have foreknown lay held
within your power’s heart.
Your working is
as like a wheel
that all encompasses—
beginning kept it not
nor ever was it wound down to an end.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ave generosa (Symphonia 17)

For the Third Sunday in Advent, a Hymn for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Virgin Mary, Queen of Heavens'
Symphony, Scivias III.13
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
1. Ave generosa,
gloriosa et intacta puella.
Tu pupilla castitatis,
tu materia sanctitatis,
que Deo placuit.

2. Nam hec superna infusio   
     in te fuit,
quod supernum Verbum
     in te carnem induit.
1. Hail, nobly born,
O Maiden, honored and inviolate.
You are the piercing gaze of chastity,
you the material of holiness—
the one who pleasèd God.

2. For heaven’s flood poured
     into you
as heaven’s Word was clothed
     in flesh in you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Article Published: "Visio-Theological Designs in Hildegard of Bingen's Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript"

I am pleased to announce that the full article upon which the paper I presented at the Kalamazoo conference earlier this year was based has now been published in the art history journal Eikón / Imago 4 (2013, Vol. 2, No. 2), pp. 1-68.

"Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen’s Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript" can be viewed on the journal's website here or on my Academia.edu profile here.

Monday, December 09, 2013

O Euchari, in leta via (Symphonia 53)

For the Feast of St. Eucharius, First Bishop of Trier (transferred fr. Dec. 8)
A Sequence by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]

Choir of Bishops
and Confessors, from
Scivias III.13: Symphonia
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
1a. O Euchari,
in leta via ambulasti
ubi cum Filio Dei mansisti,
illum tangendo
et miracula eius que fecit

1b. Tu eum perfecte amasti
cum sodales tui exterriti erant,     
pro eo quod homines erant,
nec possibilitatem habebant
bona perfecte intueri.
1a. O St. Eucharius,
you walked upon the blessed way
when with the Son of God you stayed—
you touched the man
and saw with your own eyes
     his miracles.

1b. You loved him perfectly
while your companions trembled,
frightened by their mere humanity,
unable as they were to gaze
entirely upon the good.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Hodie aperuit nobis (Symphonia 11)

(Nunc aperuit nobis)
For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception upon the Second Sunday
of Advent, an Antiphon for the Virgin by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Humility, from
Scivias III.8: The Pillar
of the Savior's Humanity.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 178r.
aperuit nobis
clausa porta
quod serpens in muliere       
unde lucet in aurora
flos de Virgine Maria.
was opened unto us
a shut-up gate.
For the serpent drew it tight,
      in woman choked—
yet from it gleams within the dawn
the Virgin Mary’s flow’r.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Ave Maria, O auctrix vite (Symphonia 8)

For the First Sunday in Advent, a Responsory for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Misericordia Dei
(Mercy of God)

Scivias III.3
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 139r
V. Ave Maria,
o auctrix vite,
reedificando salutem,
que mortem conturbasti
et serpentem contrivisti,
ad quem se Eva erexit
erecta cervice
cum sufflatu superbie.
Hunc conculcasti
dum de celo Filium Dei genuisti:    

R. Quem inspiravit
Spiritus Dei.
V. Hail Mary,
O authoress of life,
rebuilding up salvation’s health,
for death you have disturbed,
that serpent crushed
to whom Eve raised herself,
her neck outstretched
with puffed-up pride.
That serpent’s head you ground to dust
when heaven’s Son of God you bore:

R. on whom God’s Spirit

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

O Sancta Hildegardis: A Chronogram for the Feast of St. Hildegard of Bingen

Portrait of St. Hildegard.
Rupertsberg Scivias, fol. 1r
o sanCta hILDegarDIs,
LVX opVsqVe VIVentes
LVCeant nobIs
per VIsIones tVas
In VIa DoCentes.

(O sancta Hildegardis, lux opusque viventes luceant nobis per visiones tuas in via docentes.)

(O Saint Hildegard, may the Living Light and the Living Work shine upon us through your visions as they teach upon the way.)

Monday, July 22, 2013

St. Hildegard of Bingen: Prologue to Liber Divinorum Operum

Portrait of Hildegard of Bingen
recording her visions in the
Liber Divinorum Operum (I.1).
Lucca MS 1942, fol. 1. (From Wikipedia)

St. Hildegard of Bingen prefaced each of her three visionary-theological works—the Scivias, the Liber Vitae Meritorum (“Book of the Rewards of Life” / “Book of Life’s Merits”), and the Liber Divinorum Operum (“Book of Divine Works”)—with a brief description of the chronological and visionary genesis of the work. Although a little longer than the opening of the Liber Vitae Meritorum—whose structure it nevertheless parallels—the Prologue to the Liber Divinorum Operum is only half the length of the Protestifactio that opens Scivias. Because that first declaration came at the beginning of Hildegard’s writing career, at a time when she was still quite unsure of herself, it went to great lengths to establish both Hildegard’s frail humility in the service of God and the legitimate, divine authority for her prophetic messages, as well as the dynamic of the visionary experience relating the two. The openings of the latter two works also take up those three themes that are central to Hildegard's visionary, prophetic, and theological vocation, but with greater concision.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Guest Post at Beyond Borders

I've written this week’s guest post over at the medieval art history blog, Beyond Borders. Titled, “Monstrosity within the Church in Hildegard of Bingen’s Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript,” it explores the hybridized, monumental images of Ecclesia (the Church) in that manuscript, with a specific eye to the ways in which the monstrous and grotesque are central to the images, rather than marginalized, as in many later, Gothic-style manuscripts. The design of the images in the Ruperstberg manuscript transgresses medieval conventions in order to make explicit Hildegard's reformist message against monstrosity within the Church.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Hildegard of Bingen and the Doctoral Stars

Liber Divinorum Operum I.2:
Macrocosm and Microcosm.

(Lucaa MS 1942)

In the second vision of St. Hildegard of Bingen’s final and most important work, the Liber Divinorum Operum, she lays out a vast schematic of the universe, structured around a series of swirling spheres that nest, one inside the other, down to the globe of the earth at their center. Evenly spaced around and within its outermost sphere, which she describes as a “circle of bright fire”, she sees sixteen principal stars that “strengthen each part of the firmament with their powers,” and “simultaneously hold [it] together (...) with the rightness of an even and necessary but not excessive number. Like the nails that hold together the wall in which they are fixed, these cannot be moved from their places but orbit with the firmament as they keep it solidly fixed together.” (Liber Divinorum Operum I.2.39)

Hildegard then proceeds to offer an allegorical interpretation of the place of each physical feature of the universe within the life of faith and the history of salvation. Of these sixteen principal stars arranged along the outer circumference of the sky, she writes:

These signify that in the pure wholeness of divine power exist the principal teachers (doctores) who have taught and continue to teach that the ten commandments of the law are to be fulfilled throughout the six ages of the world. (…) For these teachers exhort the faithful throughout the four parts of the world to tremble at the fear of the Lord (…), so that because of this holy dread, they should stop sinning.
         —Liber Divinorum Operum I.2.42
Little could Hildegard have known that one day, her name would be added to the catalogue of these great and stellar teachers of the faith.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Women’s Ordination, Part 2: More Thoughts and Reconsiderations

St. Hildegard of Bingen,
Scivias II.5: Orders of the Church.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 66r.

After offering an initial set of thoughts in my last post on the possibilities for using ancient notions of ordination to expand the authority of women in today’s Church while also preserving the sacramental reasons for the male priesthood, I had a lively conversation with various friends and colleagues that brought to light several areas of concern, reconsideration, and clarification:

1. An Order of Doctors? The magisteria of bishops and of theologians

Monday, June 24, 2013

Women’s Ordination: Teaching Authority, Sacramentality, and the Priesthood

Scivias II.6:
Ecclesia offers the Eucharist.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 86r.

With the declaration of St. Hildegard of Bingen as the fourth female Doctor (Teacher) of the Church last year, my thoughts have turned repeatedly to the question of how women have exercised teaching and other institutional authority within the Church, and to how the examples of the past might shape the future of the Body of Christ. As western society has moved decisively over the last century to break down the structural inequalities of patriarchy that had for so long held women inferior to men, the silence that the Church still seems to command of women in its own institutional structures deafens ever more with the cries of injustice. Indeed, several commentators noticed the seeming disconnect between Pope Benedict’s canonization and valorization of Hildegard, on the one hand, and the nearly simultaneous criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the other. How can the Church authorize one of her most stridently critical prophetic voices as one of her most important teachers of the faith, and yet continue to bar entry into its modern magisterium to the women who serve that faith today?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Text vs. Image in the Lucca Illustration of Liber Divinorum Operum I.2: Humanity and the Macrocosmos

Humanity and the Macrocosmos.
Liber Divinorum Operum I.2
(Lucca MS 1942)

With the advent of the summer months, I have set to work again on my new translation of Hildegard of Bingen’s Liber Divinorum Operum. Last week saw me (re)tackling the second vision of the work, in which Hildegard revises her vision of the cosmos in the shape of an egg in Scivias I.3 into an elaborate series of “circles” whirling one inside the other, with a grand human figure standing astride the spinning globe. The vision text is extremely complex and intricate in its details, especially as Hildegard begins to describe the interplay of the four principal winds and their eight collateral winds, each represented by an animal’s head. As one reads through it, one feels compelled to pull out paper and pencil and to sketch it out, simply in order to keep straight above and below, left and right, east and west, north and south. In the course of carefully piecing together each detail, it soon became clear to me that the famed illustration of this vision in the thirteenth-century Lucca manuscript—so often compared to da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”—has several significant flaws:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: The Shakespeare Thefts by Eric Rasmussen

Eric Rasmussen. The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. xv + 212 pp.

A British fantasist whose playboy image is a sham; a New York couple drowning together while on holiday at a resort in Maine; and the unintentionally sticky fingers of both Pope Paul VI and the author himself (pp. 91-92): each makes an appearance in Eric Rasmussen’s The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios. This volume serves as the popular equivalent of a “Behind the Scenes” documentary for Rasmussen’s monumental scholarly project of the last two decades: to track down and catalogue in exhaustive detail as many as possible of the 232 known extant copies of the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare’s works, considered by many to be one of the most important and prized printed books in the English language.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Laus Trinitati (Symphonia 26)

An Antiphon for the Trinity by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.2: The Trinity.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 47r.
Laus Trinitati
que sonus et vita
ac creatrix omnium
in vita ipsorum est,
et que laus angelice turbe
et mirus splendor
que hominibus ignota sunt, est, 
et que in omnibus vita est.

Praise to the Trinity—
the sound and life
and creativity of all
within their life;
the praise of the angelic host
and wondrous, brilliant
     splendor hidden,
unknown to human minds, and yet
its mystery is life within all things.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

O ignee Spiritus (Symphonia 27)

A Hymn to the Holy Spirit by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.4: Tower
of the Holy Spirit.

Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 60r.
1. O ignee Spiritus, laus tibi sit,
qui in timpanis et citharis

2. Mentes hominum de te flagrant     
et tabernacula animarum eorum
vires ipsarum continent.

3. Inde voluntas ascendit
et gustum anime tribuit,
et eius lucerna est desiderium.

4. Intellectus te in dulcissimo sono
ac edificia tibi
cum racionalitate parat,
que in aureis operibus sudat.

1. O fiery Spirit, praise to you,
who on the tympana and lyre

2. By you the human mind is set ablaze,
the tabernacle of its soul
contains its strength.

3. So mounts the will
and grants the soul to taste—
desire is its lamp.

4. In sweetest sound the intellect
     upon you calls,
a dwelling-place prepares for you,
with reason sweating in
the golden labor.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Karitas habundat (Symphonia 25)

(Caritas abundat)
An Antiphon for the Holy Spirit by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Caritas (Divine Love)
Liber Divinorum Operum
I.1 (Lucca MS 1942)
habundat in omnia,
de imis excellentissima
super sidera
atque amantissima
in omnia,
quia summo regi osculum pacis      
abounds in all,
from the depths exalted and excelling
over every star,
and most beloved
of all,
for to the highest King she gave
the kiss of peace.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spiritus sanctus vivificans vita (Symphonia 24)

For Pentecost, an Antiphon for the Holy Spirit by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.4:

Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 60r.
Spiritus sanctus vivificans vita
movens omnia,
et radix est in omni creatura
ac omnia de inmunditia
tergens crimina,
ac ungit vulnera,
et sic est fulgens ac laudabilis vita,     
suscitans et resuscitans
The Holy Spirit: living and life-giving,
all things moving,
the root of all created being:
of filth and muck it washes
     all things clean—
no guilty stains remaining,
its balm our wounds constraining—
and so its life with praise is shining,
rousing and reviving

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen’s Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript

Imago expandit splendorem suum...
Scivias II.3: The Church and Baptism.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 51r.

Update: The full article on which this presentation was based has now been published in Eikón / Imago 4 (2013:2), pp. 1-68, available electronically here.

A major point of contention within Hildegard studies is the question of her role in the production of the illuminated Scivias manuscript known as the Rupertsberg Codex.[1] Much current German scholarship has tended to preclude Hildegard’s hand by dating the manuscript’s production after her death in 1179, based on stylistic comparisons to firmly dateable contemporary manuscripts or on the many places where the images in the manuscript diverge from or even contradict the text of the visions. Pre-war German scholars, however, who had access to the original manuscript before it was lost, and most modern Anglophone scholars have argued more or less strongly for Hildegard’s influence on the design. Today, I argue for Hildegard’s direction of the images based on their function as a theological discourse refracting the text. I propose that the manuscript was produced in the late 1160’s or early 1170’s, at about the same time Hildegard was writing the Liber Divinorum Operum; and that she designed the images specifically to offer a visual record of the work’s theology.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

48th International Congress on Medieval Studies: May 9-12, 2013

I am pleased to announce that I have received a portion of the 2013 James J. Paxson Memorial Travel Grant from the BABEL Working Group, to help defray the cost of my attendance at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in a few weeks.

I will be presenting on Thursday, May 9, at 1:30 p.m., in Session 94 (Bernhard 210), “Hildegard von Bingen: Bridges to Infinity,” sponsored by the International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies. My paper is titled, Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen’s Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript.” I have copied the abstract below, and you can read the full text here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Act of Cowardice

An Open Letter to Every Senator who Voted Against Background Checks:

I write to you with a heart aggrieved by your shameful decision this week to vote against the implementation of universal background checks for firearms’ transactions. This was a bill designed to close loopholes exploited by criminals and the mentally ill to purchase firearms to which they have no legal right at gun shows and over the Internet. It was also a bill that, contrary to the claims made falsely against it, did not infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of American citizens; indeed, little more than a decade ago, its provisions were openly supported by the National Rifle Association. It was a bill with overwhelming popular support (not to mention the support of a majority of your fellow senators), which you callously ignored because you were cowed and frightened by the shameless voices of mendacious bullies. This week, you perverted democracy.

Friday, April 05, 2013

O eterne Deus (Symphonia 7)

An Antiphon for God the Father by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Theophany of Caritas
(Divine Love)
Liber Divinorum Operum
I.1 (Lucca MS 1942)
O eterne Deus,
nunc tibi placeat
ut in amore illo ardeas
ut membra illa simus
que fecisti in eodem amore,
cum Filium tuum genuisti
in prima aurora
ante omnem creaturam,
et inspice necessitatem hanc
que super nos cadit,
et abstrahe eam a nobis
propter Filium tuum,
et perduc nos in leticiam salutis.      

O eternal God,
may you be pleased
to blaze once more in love
and to reforge us as the limbs
you fashioned in that love,
when first you bore your Son
upon the primal dawn
before all things created.
Look upon this need
that over us has fallen,
draw it off from us
according to your Son,
and lead us back into salvation’s
   wholesome happiness.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

O magne Pater (Symphonia 6)

An Antiphon for God the Father by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias III.12:
The New Heaven & New Earth.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 225v.
O magne Pater,
in magna necessitate sumus.     
Nunc igitur obsecramus,
obsecramus te
per Verbum tuum,
per quod nos constituisti
quibus indigemus.
Nunc placeat tibi, Pater,
quia te decet,
ut aspicias in nos
per adiutorium tuum,
ut non deficiamus,
et ne nomen tuum
     in nobis obscuretur,
et per ipsum nomen tuum   
dignare nos adiuvare.
O Father great,
in great necessity and need we are.
Thus we now beg,
we beg of you
according to your Word,
through whom you once
     established us
full of all that we now lack.
Now may it please you, Father,
for it behooves you,
to look upon us
with your kindly aid,
lest we should fail again
and, lost, forget
     your name.
By that your name we pray—
please kindly help and bring us aid!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

O pastor animarum (Symphonia 4)

An Antiphon for the Redeemer by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.1:
The Redeemer (detail).
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 41v.
O pastor animarum
et o prima vox
per quam omnes creati sumus,    
nunc tibi, tibi placeat
ut digneris
nos liberare de miseriis
et languoribus nostris.
O shepherd of our souls,
O primal voice,
whose call created all of us:
Now hear our cry to thee, to thee,
and deign
to free us from our miseries
and feebleness.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

O quam mirabilis (Symphonia 3)

An Antiphon for the Creator by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Humanity as Microcosm.
Liber Divinorum Operum I.2
(Lucca MS 1942)
O quam mirabilis est
prescientia divini pectoris
que prescivit omnem
Nam cum Deus inspexit
faciem hominis quem formavit,  
omnia opera sua

in eadem forma hominis
integra aspexit.
O quam mirabilis est inspiratio
que hominem sic suscitavit.

How wonderful it is,
that the foreknowing heart divine
has first known everything
For when God looked upon
the human face that he had formed,
he gazed upon
     his ev’ry work and deed,
reflected pure
in that humanity.
How wondrous is that breath
with which he inspires humanity,
    rousing us to life!

Monday, April 01, 2013

O virtus Sapientie (Symphonia 2)

An Antiphon for Divine Wisdom by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias III.5: The Zeal
or Jealousy of God.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 153r.
O virtus Sapientie,
que circuiens circuisti,
comprehendendo omnia
in una via que habet vitam,
tres alas habens,
quarum una in altum volat  
et altera de terra sudat
et tercia undique volat.

Laus tibi sit, sicut te decet,
O Sapientia.
O Wisdom’s energy!
Whirling, you encircle
and everything embrace
in the single way of life.
Three wings you have:
one soars above into the heights,
one sweeps about the earth,
and with the third you fly
Praise be to you, as is your due,
O Wisdom.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

O vis eternitatis (Symphonia 1)

For Easter, a Responsory for the Creator by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.1: Creation,
Fall, & Redemption.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 41v.
V. O vis eternitatis
que omnia ordinasti in
     corde tuo,
per Verbum tuum omnia
     creata sunt
sicut voluisti,
et ipsum Verbum tuum
induit carnem
in formatione illa
que educta est de Adam.

R. Et sic indumenta ipsius      
a maximo dolore
abstersa sunt.
V. O strength within Eternity:
All things you held in order
     in your heart,
and through your Word were
     all created
according to your will.
And then your very Word
was clothed within
that form of flesh
from Adam born.

R. And so his garments
were washed and cleansed
from greatest suffering.

Friday, March 29, 2013

O cruor sanguinis (Symphonia 5)

A Good Friday Antiphon by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.6: Christ's
Sacrifice and the Church.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 86r.
O cruor sanguinis
qui in alto sonuisti,
cum omnia elementa
se implicuerunt
in lamentabilem vocem
cum tremore,
quia sanguis Creatoris sui   
illa tetigit,
ungue nos
de languoribus nostris.
O streaming blood,
to heaven’s height you cried,
when every element
enwrapped itself within
a voice of woe
with trembling misery,
for their Creator’s blood
had covered them:
Anoint us
and heal our feebleness.