Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

The Requiem Mass didn't exist until not long before the end of the 10th Century, and a special day for the commemoration of the dead, November 2nd (All Soul's Day), was insitituted by St. Ode, the Abbot of Cluny, in 998. All Soul's Day was observed everywhere by the 13th Century when the doctrine of Purgatory, as taught by St. Thomas Aquinas (as well as several other theologians) was universally excepted and Masses for the dead became general feature in parish life. It would be correct to say that the Mass for the Dead, stemming from the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in 1570, by decree of the Council of Trent, is of Franco-Gallican origin.

Requiem Mass in D minor (Mozart)



Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine on them.
Thou, O God, art praised in Sion,
and unto Thee shall the vow,
be performed in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer, unto Thee shall all
flesh come.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine on them.


Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.


Day of wrath, that day
Will dissolve the earth in ashes
As David and the Sibyl bear witness.

What dread there will
When the Judge shall come
To judge all things strictly.

A trumpet, spreading a wondrous sound
Through the graves of all lands,
Will drive mankind before the throne.

Death and Nature shall be astonished
When all creation rises again
To answer to the Judge.

A book, written in, will be brought
In which is contained everything that is
Out of which the world shall be judged.

When therefore the Judge takes His seat
Whatever is hidden will reveal itself.
Nothing will remain unavenged.

What then shall I say, wretch that I am
What advocate entreat to speak for me,
When even the righteous may hardly be

King of awful majesty,
Who freely savest the redeemed,
Save me, O fount of goodness.

Remember, blessed Jesus,
That I am the cause of Thy pilgrimage,
Do not forsake me on that day.

Seeking me Thou didst sit down weary,
Thou didst redeem me, suffering death
on the cross.
Let not such toil be in vain.

Just the avenging judge,
Grant remission
Before the day of reckoning.

I groan like a guilty man.
Guilt reddens my face.
Spare a suppliant, O God.

Thou who didst absolve Mary Magdalene
And didst hearken to the thief,
To me also hast Thou given hope.

My prayers are not worthy,
But Thou I Thy merciful goodness grant
That I burn not in everlasting fire.

Place me among Thy sheep
And seperate me from the goats,
Setting me on Thy right hand.

When the accursed have been confounded
And given over to the bitter flames,
Call me with the blessed.

I pray in supplication on my knees.
My heart contrite as the dust,
Safeguard my fate.

Mournful that day
When from the dust shall rise
Guilty man to be judged.
Therefore spare him, O God.
Merciful Jesus, Lord
Grant them rest.


Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory,
deliver the souls of all the faithful
departed from the pains of hell and
from the bottomless pit.
Deliver them from the lion's mouth.
Neither let them fall into darkness
nor the black abyss swallow them up.
And let St. Michael, Thy standard-
bearer, lead them into the holy light
which once Thou didst promise
to Abraham and his seed.
We offer unto Thee this sacrifice
of prayer and praise.
Receive it for those souls
whom today we commemorate.
Allow them, O Lord, to cross
from death into the life
which once Thou didst promise to
Abraham and his seed.


Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God of Sabaoth
Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.


Blessed is He who cometh in the name of
the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of
the world, grant them rest.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of
the world, grant them everlasting rest.


May eternal light shine on them, O Lord
with Thy saints for ever,
because Thou art merciful.
Grant the dead eternal rest, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine on them.
with Thy saints for ever,
because Thou are merciful.

Information from Requiem: Avenging Angel Website (http://www.3do.com/requiem/):

Requiem: Avenging Angel is a 3D first-person action
experience of biblical proportions. Requiem takes the
holy battle between Heaven's chosen soldiers and Hell's
fallen demons to new extremes. You play the role of
Malachi, a loyal angel, blasting through futuristic
settings; meeting other characters; and developing
angelic powers like: possession, flight, Bloodboil, and
the ability to turn enemies to salt. Can you save
creation from the wrath of the Fallen?

System Requirements/Publisher Info:

Publisher: 3DO
Developer: Cyclone Studios
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Planned Release: early Spring of 99
Number of Players: 1-8
Category: Action (FPP Shooter)
ESRB Rating: Pending (Mature Expected)
Min specs: Pentium Pentium® 166, 32MB RAM, 4X CD ROM
Recommended specs: Pentium® 200, 32+MB RAM, Hardware card
Open GL is not supported. We support DirectX 6.0 and Glide.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem;
exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet.

Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
Thou shalt have praise in Zion, O God, and homage shall be paid to thee in Jerusalem;
O hear my prayer, for all flesh shall come unto thee.
This full latin Requiem text is, I think, one option for the Mass, certainly Fauré's Requiem differs in content, although in for example Britten's War Requiem this version appears in full, and runs as follows;

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetus luceat eis. Te decet hymnus, Deus in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem, exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.

Dies irae, dies illa, solvet saeclum in favilla, teste David cum Sybilla. Quantus tremor est futurus, quando judex est venturus, cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirim spargens sonum, per sepulchra regionum, coget omnes ante thronum. Mors stubebit et natura, cum resurget creatura, judicanti reponsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur, in quo totum continetur, unde mundus judicetur. Judex ergo cum sedebit, quidquid latet apparebit, nil ilnultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus, quem patronum rogaturus, cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatis, qui salvandos salvas gratis, salva me, fons pietatis,

Recordare Jesu pie, quod sum causa tuae viae, ne me perdas illa die. Quaerens me sedisti lassus, redemisti crucem passus, tantus labor non sit causus. Juste judex ultinonis, donum fac remissionis ante diem rationis.

The requiem mass is a traditional mass used in the Roman Catholic Church as a funeral mass. The term "requiem mass" is used to mean a "mass for the dead" (missa pro defunctis). It begins with the words "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" (give them eternal rest, O Lord). In addition to the requiem mass being used traditionally at funerals, the major use in the liturgical calendar is on All Saints' Day (or All Souls Day). The requiem mass follows many of the same elements as other traditional masses, except that some of the more joyful passages are omitted (for example the Gloria in excelsis and Credo), and with a generous amount of more somber reflections upon death and final things being added.

It is worth noting that the use of the requiem mass in Catholic church services seems to have fallen out of favor, at least in some parts of the world. Until recently, the use of the requiem mass was banned in the Boston diocese (among others). However, in 1998 Cardinal Law (ahem) issued a letter permitting its use in the observance of All Souls Day. In his sermon notes prepared for the sermon on All Souls Day, Dr. Michael Foley of Boston College had this to say about the mass: "...the Requiem Mass does not ignore a single facet of Christian mourning but captures all of the ambivalence which the average believer experiences when confronted with the humiliation of dying and the glorious possibility of rising again".

From a musical perspective, the significance of the requiem mass is that, while other masses of the church vary considerably within the liturgical calendar, the requiem mass is used for specific purposes and its structure is fixed. Thus, it lends itself very well to musical settings. References to early musical settings of the requiem mass date back to the Middle Ages. The earliest reference to the existence of a complete polyphonic requiem is in the will of Guillaume Dufay (c.1400-1474), who requested a choir of twelve or 'capable men' to sing his requiem mass at his own funeral. Unfortunately, there exists no record of Dufay's composition. The earliest known requiem mass for which we have a record is that of Johannes Ockeghem, written around 1470. Ockeghem's composition included only the Introit, Kyrie, gradual (Si ambulem) and tract (Sicut cerves). Antoine Brumel wrote another early setting not long after Ockeghem's, which added the Sanctus, Agnus Dei and communion sections, which had been omitted in Ockeghem's composition. Thus, even from the earliest times (and perhaps in part because the requiem mass appeared so early, when composers were much less ambitious), the composers who wrote choral settings for the requiem mass frequently omitted very large sections of the mass in their compositions. Undoubtedly, some example exists where the composer did not alter the mass' original text in some way; however, this is not the case with the vast majority of these compositions. (In particular, the extremely lengthy dies irae passage appears to be omitted very frequently.)

Some of the more well-known examples of musical settings of the requiem mass are the following:

(Note: My sincere thanks to the authors who've contributed these fine nodes.)

The traditional structure of the requiem mass is as follows:

  1. Introitus - Requiem Aeternum - Rest eternal
  2. Kyrie Eleison - Have mercy
  3. Gradual
  4. Tract - A plea for absolution of departed souls
  5. Sequentia - Dies Irae
    • Dies Irae - Day of wrath
    • Tuba mirum - Hark the trumpet
    • Liber scriptus - Now the record
    • Quid sum miser - What affliction
    • Rex tremendae - King of Glories
    • Recordare - Ah! remember
    • Ingemisco - Sadly groaning
    • Confutatis - From the accursed
    • Lacrimosa - Ah! what weeping
  6. Offertorium (offertory)
    • Domine Jesu
    • Hostias
  7. Sanctus
  8. Benedictus - Pie Jesu Domine
  9. Agnus Dei
  10. Communion: Lux Aeternae
  11. Responsory: Libera me

(1) History of the Requiem (http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/Requiem/history.htm)
(2) Requiem Structure and Lyrics (http://usrwww.mpx.com.au/~charles57/Requiem/lyrics.htm)
(3) http://www.gis.net/~pkoenen/UnaVoceBoston/allsouls.html

Re"qui*em , and cf. Requin.]

1. R.C.Ch.

A mass said or sung for the repose of a departed soul.

We should profane the service of the dead To sing a requiem and such rest to her As to peace-parted souls. Shak.


Any grand musical composition, performed in honor of a deceased person.


Rest; quiet; peace.


Else had I an eternal requiem kept, And in the arms of peace forever slept. Sandys.


© Webster 1913.

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