Hyperion Records

O Euchari
O Euchari, like Columba aspexit, was almost certainly written for the clergy at Trier. Saint Eucharius was a third-century missionary who became the bishop of the city. Stanza one evokes his years as an itinerant preacher (during which he performed miracles). The ‘fellow-travellers’ of stanza two are presumably Valerius and Maternus, his companions in the missionary work. The ‘three shrines’ of stanza five (compare Matthew 17: 4) represent the Trinity and perhaps, if we follow the Glossa Ordinaria, the triple piety of words, thoughts and deeds. The ‘old and the new wine’ of stanza six represent the Testaments: Ecclesia savours both, but the Synagogue, like the ‘old bottles’ of Christ’s parable, cannot sustain the New. Hildegard closes the Sequence with a prayer that the people of Trier may never revert to the paganism in which Eucharius found them, but may always re-enact the redemptive sacrifice of Christ in the form of the Mass.

from notes by Christopher Page © 1982

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