Yesterday was the feast of Herman the Lame.
Herman was, of course, lame and lived in a Benedictine Monastery til the end of his considerable days. While lame, he was brilliant. A gifted composer and writer, his most renowned prayer is prayed daily throughout the world – the Salve Regina.
This chant is performed by CIRMA/ Ensemble Organum led by Mr. Marcel Pérès.
It’s not the traditional chant we all know. It’s in fact even more traditional if we’re going to be looking lifespan.
The words to the Salve Regina are often thought to have been composed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. But no, the monastery residents insist – it was Herman.
And what else did Blessed Herman do? Well he did quite a lot actually, much more than I currently have time to jump into because I try, I tell you – I try! I pray, I visit the sick, care for the widows and orphans, file papers, shred stacks of papers which I’m still unpacking after the nightmarish rat infestation of winter ’18, endlessly sift through mountains of mails, emails, and phone calls, tweets and fb messages. The miles I drive! The Homilies I type up! The Masses I say for the salvation of souls and for the liberty and exaltation of our Holy Mather the Church!
All of which are obviously important, but one doesn’t want to appear to be a complete idiot and type up sheer nonsense. Though being thought an imbecile is, to the French, an honor and I do have a lot of French blood flowing through my veins. Of course, writing here is quite important, because of you, dear friends. So where were we?
Blessed Herman also wrote the Alma Redemptoris Mater. Beautiful as ever, it’s said in place of the Angelus during the Easter season and is often used as an antiphon after Night Prayer.
A modern composition, released in 2000, this version was composed by Bernhard Lewkovitch, and is performed (prayed one hopes) by the Jutland Chamber Choir.
Go ahead and give it a spin!
The above Salve Regina is worth a listen too, in a medieval kinda of way.
Blessed Herman, pray for us. Mary, Mother of God pray for us who have recourse to thee.