Greening of Hope



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The liturgy at St Paul’s Cathedral that concluded the Festival drew on Hildegard’s music and theological reflection. The service combined elements of the tradition monastic service of ‘vigils’ (waiting for the day) and ‘vespers’ (evening prayer) and included both dance and song. The liturgists Deirdre Browne ibvm and Margaret Smith sgs describe the service in the concluding chapter of The Greening of Hope.

Festival of Hildegard poster

Plant care instructions


Hildegard’s Recipe for Fennel Biscuits

Hildegard’s Nerve and Intelligence Bikkies

1 and a 1/2 cups butter
3 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups flour
5 teaspoons ground fennel
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Combine and sift dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture. Knead in the last of the flour. Shape into rolls, wrap in cling film or paper and chill for 30 minutes. When firm, slice thinly, bake at 175 degrees C. Usually 10-12  minutes.
(Thanks to Jane Woollard)

Some Hildegardian Wisdom

Good nerves are usually a privilege of youth and depend on the graceful interplay of the five senses: clear vision, acute hearing, a fine sense of taste and smell and a sensitive touch. Nerve cookies and the gem sardonix strengthen these faculties and slow down their ageing. They also create a cheerful countenance, glad spirits and lighten a heavy heart, releasing intelligence.