Antiphon: O Virtus Sapientiae

This is my very favorite piece of music by St. Hildegard von Bingen. It is very mysterious, which is not surprising as she was a great mystic.

O Virtus Sapientiae (antiphon) by Hildegard von Bingen

I have learned to sing it, and you can learn to sing it, too!

  1. Read through the Latin text along with the Church Latin pronunciation guide a few times, before practicing with the video. (You will hear the German singers use a slightly different pronunciation for many of the Latin words than expected, FYI: they say circuisti as “sircuisti” instead of “cheercuisti” for example).

O virtus Sapientiae,

quae circuiens circuisti

comprehendendo omnia

in una via, quae habet vitam,

tres alas habens,

quarum una in altum volat,

et altera de terra sudat,

et tertia undique volat.

Laus tibi sit, sicut te decet,

O Sapientia.

2. Here is the link to the site with the sheet music: Print and sing along as you play the video or try it on an instrument.

This is an antiphon–a short piece prayed before and after a few psalms, such as in the Divine Office. Here is a translation of the lyric (mine): O strength of wisdom, who, circling, has circled comprehending all in one path; which has life, having three wings, of which one flies in the heights, and another waters (perspires) from the earth, and the third flies everywhere. Praise be to you, as it ought to be, O Wisdom.

It sure is different–and I hope you enjoy this piece too!

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