Song Texts and Readings

SINFONYE

SYMPHONIA

HILDEGARD OF BINGEN

READINGS AND RUNNING ORDER

 

 

SONG UNDE QUOCUMQUE

 

READING OF SONG TEXT FAVUS DISTILLANS

A dripping honeycomb was Ursula, virgin,

who yearned to lie with God’s lamb

honey and milk beneath her tongue.

For she gathered around her a flock of virgins,

a fruit-bearing orchard, a garden in bloom.

Rejoice, Daughter of Zion, in the exalted dawn.

 

SONG FAVUS DISTILLANS

 

READING 1

In my first formation, when in my mother’s womb God raised me up with the breath of life, he fixed this vision in my soul. And my parents amid sighs, vowed me to God. And in the third year of my life I saw so great a brightness that my soul trembled and I kept seeing this way until my fortieth year. And it came to pass in the eleven hundred and forty-first year of the incarnation of Christ, when I was forty-two and seven months old, that the heavens were opened and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my entire brain. And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame, not burning but warming... Then in that same vision I was forced by a great pressure of pains to manifest what I had seen and heard and a voice came to me saying:

"O poor little figure of a woman...commit to permanent record for the benefit of humankind, what you see with your inner eyes and perceive with the inner hearts of your soul) so that, through these things, people may come to know their creator... For I am Life without beginning or end."

READING OF SONG TEXT DEUS ENIM IN PRIMA MULIERE

For God foreshadowed in the first woman

that woman should be nurtured.

SONG DEUS ENIM IN PRIMA MULIERE

READING 2

And I saw within the Mystery of God, in the midst of the southern breezes, a wondrously beautiful image. It had a human form, and its countenance was of such beauty and radiance that I could more easily have gazed at the sun than at the face. A broad golden ring circled its head. In this ring above the head there appeared a second countenance, like that of an elderly man, its chin and beard resting on the crown of the first head. On both sides of the figure a wing grew out of the shoulders. At the topmost part of the right wing’s curve there appeared an eagle’s head. Its eyes were like fire and in them the brilliance of the angels streamed forth as in a mirror. On the topmost part of left wing’s curve was a human head, which shone like the flaming of the stars. Both faces were turned towards the east. From the shoulders of the figure a wing extended to its knees. The figure was wrapped in a garment that shone like the sun. Its feet trod upon a monster of dreadful appearance...poisonous and black, and a serpent had fastened its teeth onto the monster’s right ear.

And the figure said:

"I am the supreme and fiery force who has kindled all sparks of life and breathed forth none of death and I decide on all reality. With my upper wings I fly above the globe: with Wisdom I have rightly put the universe in order. I, the fiery life of divine essence, blaze in the beauty of the fields, shine in the waters, and burn in the sun, moon and stars. And by means of the airy wind, I stir everything into quickness with a certain invisible life which sustains all. I am also Reason, having the wind of the sounding word by which all things were created and I breathe in them all, so that none may die, for I am Life."

READING OF SONG TEXT O VIRTUS SAPIENTE

O energy of Wisdom,

you of the whirling wings,

encompassing all

in the one path that possesses life.

One wing soars high in heaven

one wing sweeps the earth

and the third flies all around us.

Let all the earth praise you, o Wisdom.

SONG - O VIRTUS SAPIENTE

READING 3

Wisdom teaches in the light of love, and bids me tell you how I was brought into this my gift of vision. Hear these words, human creature, and tell them not according to yourself, but according to me. But I am always filled with a trembling fear...yet I stretch out my hands to God so that like a feather which lacks all weight and strength and flies through the wind, I may be born up by Him... In this vision my spirit mounts upwards, into the height of the firmament and into the changing air and dilates itself among different nations, even though they are in far off places, and in regions remote from me. And... for this reason I also behold them changing forms of clouds and other created things. But I hear them not with my physical ears, nor do I see them by bringing any of my five senses to bear - but only in my soul, my physical eyes open... I see these things wakefully, day and night. The brightness that I see is not spatial, yet it is far, far more lucent than a cloud that envelopes the sun. I cannot contemplate height, or length, or breadth in it: and I call it "the shadow of the living brightness" and I see, hear and know simultaneously, and learn what I know as if in a moment. And the words I see and hear through the vision are not the words that come from human lips, but like a sparkling flame and a cloud moved in pure air.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC fiddle drone

In that same vision I understood the writings of the prophets...and of certain philosophers without any human instruction, and I expounded certain things based on these. but I also brought forth songs with their melody...without being taught by anyone, and I sang them too, even though I had never learnt either musical notation or any kind of singing.

READING OF SONG TEXT O IGNEE SPIRITUS

Praise to you, spirit of fire!

To you who sound the timbrel and the lyre.

Your music sets our minds ablaze!

The strength of our souls awaits your coming

in the tent of our meeting.

There the ascent will

give the soul its savour

and desire is its lantern.

Insight invokes you in a cry

full of sweetness,

while reason builds you temples as she labours at her golden crafts.

SONG O IGNEE SPIRITUS

READING 4

I heard a voice from the living brightness tell of the diverse kinds of musical instruments that praise god, of which David says in the Psalms: "Praise him in the call of the trumpet, praise him on the psaltery, and on the lute, praise him on the tambour and in dancing, praise him on strings and on organ, praise him on cymbals of jubilation."

In these words outer realities teach us about inner ones - namely, how in accordance with the material composition and quality of instruments, we can best transform and shape the performance of inner being. If we strive for this lovingly, we recall how man sought the voice of the living spirit, which Adam lost through his disobedience...Before his fall he sang like an angel and knew every kind of music, just as at his fall, the chaste manner of begetting children was transmuted into another mode of physical delight, so too the voice singing heavenly joys, which Adam had, was turned into a contrary mode of laughing and guffawing.

READING OF SONG TEXT O GLORIOSISSIMI LUX VIVENS ANGELI

O most glorious living-light angels,

who beneath the divinity gaze on the divine eyes

in the mystical obscurity of all creation......

O how glorious are those joys your form possesses,

which in you is untouched by all the wicked work

which first began in your companion, the lost angel

who wished to fly above the hidden pinnacle of God.

SONG O GLORIOSISSIMI LUX VIVENS ANGELI

READING 5

Then I saw as it were a great throng of living torches, very bright, kindled by a bolt of fiery lightning from which they acquired a glowing splendour. And behold! There appeared a lake, very broad and deep, with a mouth like a well belching forth fiery smoke and a terrible stench. From the lake, too, came a hideous cloud of mist, which billowed out to touch something like a vein with deceiving eyes. Through it, the foul cloud breathed upon a shining cloud, filled with stars upon stars, which issued from the beautiful form of a man in a region of light. Thus, the foul cloud cast the shining cloud and the human form out of that region.

READING OF SONG TEXT SED DIABOLUS

But the devil mocked it in his envy,

by which he left no work of God untouched.

SONG SED DIABOLUS

READING 6

When man transgressed God’s command, he was changed both in body and in mind. For the purity of his blood was turned into another mode, so that he now ejects the spume of semen... For the man’s blood, burning in the ardour and heat of lust, ejects from itself that we call semen, as a pot placed on the fire brings up foam and water because of the flame’s heat.

When a woman is making love, a sense of heat in her brain, which brings with it sensual delight, summons forth the man’s seed. And when the seed has fallen into place, that vehement heat descending from her brain draws the seed to itself and holds it, and soon the woman’s sexual organs contract, in the same way as a strong man holds something in his fist.

READING OF SONG TEXT 4 - O TU ILLUSTRATA

O you who are illumined,

radiant virgin Mary,

drenched in the speech of God,

your body bloomed,

swelling with the breath of God.

for the Spirit purged you

of the poison Eve took.

She soiled all the freshness when she caught

that infection from the devil’s suggestion.

SONG O TU ILLUSTRATA

READING 7

When the shining with the dawn came, the ancient serpent was greatly terrified, since through a woman he was completely deceived. and the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, hoping that she would subject herself to him, like a ship in a ship wreck, so that her name would vanish from the face of the earth, like something thrown in a deep river. But the woman was helped by the earth, to the serpent’s confusion.

READING OF SONG TEXT 5 - O CLARISSIMA MATER

O most radiant mother of sacred healing!

You poured salve on the sobbing

wounds that Eve sculpted

to torment our souls.

For your salve is your son and you

wrecked death forever,

sculpturing life.

Pray for us to your child

Mary,. star of the sea.

SONG - O CLARISSIMA MATER

READING 8

And then I saw a great round tower consisting wholly of a single white stone, with three windows in its summit. from them shone a light so intense that even the roof of this tower, which was raised in the form of a cone, could be plainly seen in the brightness of this light. these windows were decorated with beautiful emeralds. And the tower was set in the middle of Ecclesia’s back, like a tower in a city wall, so that because of its strength the woman could by no means fall.

READING OF SONG TEXT - O ORZCHIZ ECCLESIA

O measureless Ecclesia!

Clad in divine armour, your gems the colour of heaven;

you are the fragrance of the wounds of nations, the city of knowledge.

O lady, O jewel ever sparkling;

such music sounds at your crowning!

SONG - O ORZCHIS ECCLESIA

READING 9

And where the splendour of Ecclesia glowed like the dawn, its brightness rose up to the hidden mysteries of heaven. In this splendour there appeared the image of a beautiful girl, whose head was uncovered, showing her black hair. This maiden was clothed with a red tunic which flowed down to her feet. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "This is the flower that blooms in the Zion above: mother and rose and lily of the valley. O flower, you will marry the Son of the most mighty King and bear him offspring of supreme renown, when in your time you are comforted."

And around this girl I saw standing a great throng of people shining brighter than the sun, who were all wonderfully arrayed in gold and jewels... And again I heard the voice from on hgih, saying, "These are the daughters of Zion, and with them are minstrels making music on the lyre and every kind of instrument and the voice of all mirth, and the joy of joys."

READING 10

I saw three female forms in the midst of the southern regions. Two of them stood in a very clear well, which was encircled and crowned by a round, porous stone. They seemed rooted on the well, just as trees at time seem to grow in water. One form was encircled by such a purple glimmer and the second by such a dazzling white brilliance that I could not bear to look fully at them. The third form stood outside the well and beneath the stone in a dazzlingly white garment.

The first figure said, "I am Love. Wisdom has influenced me, and the humility rooted in the living fountain is my helper. Through the splendour that is my essence, the living light of the blessed angels shines. I have designed the human species, which has its roots in me like a shadow, just as one can see the shadow of every object in water. And since I am the living fountain all creation is like a shadow within myself." And according to this reflection, mankind was made with fire and water, as I myself am fire and living water.

READING OF SONG TEXT O VOS ANGELI

O you angels who guard the peoples, whose form gleams in your face,

And O you angels who receive the souls of the just,

And you virtues, powers, princedoms, dominations and thrones,

who are counted in the secret number five,

And O you cherubim and seraphim, seal of the secrets of God:

Praise be to you, the little place of the ancient heart.

SONG O VOS ANGELI

READING 11

And then, I saw, near the mountain and in the midst of the eastern region, a wheel of wonderful size that resembled a dazzling white cloud. To the east I saw a dark line on the left that extended obliquely to the right, looking like human breath. On the middle of the wheel and above this line another line appeared, as bright as the dawn. From the top of this wheel this line descended to the middle of the first line. The upper part of this half-wheel emitted a green glow from its left side to its midpoint while from its right side to its midpoint there was a reddish sheen. And in the midst of this wheel I saw on top of the line the figure that at the outset was named to me as Caritas, that is, Love. But now I saw her adorned differently from the way she had earlier appeared to me. Her countenance shone like the sun, her clothing was a flaming kind of scarlet, and about her neck she had a golden ribbon adorned with costly gems...

Before the figure’s face there appeared a tablet that gleamed like a crystal with the inscription. "I shall display myself in beauty shining like silver. For the divinity who is without any beginning shines forth in great splendour.

READING OF SONG TEXT - CARITAS HABUNDAT

Charity abounds

from the vast abyss

past the stars above

abounds in all worlds,

unbounded by love, and with the spousal kiss

disarms the sky-king.

SONG - CARITAS HABUNDAT

READING 12

And presently all the elements gleamed again in the utmost serenity, as if the blackest skin had been pulled off them, so that the fire no longer contained any heat, nor any denseness, water its turbulence seething, nor earth its frailty. The sun, too, the moon, and the stars, shone with great splendour and stayed fixed without circling motion, so that they no longer distinguished day from night. And so it was not night, but day. And it was finished.

READING OF SONG TEXT NUNC GAUDEANT

Let Mother Ecclesia sing for joy! Her children are found, she gathers them home to celestial harmony.

SONG NUNC GAUDEANT


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