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

Hang up the phone
Be silent
Stare at the air
Stare at the walls
Look into the mirror
Look away quickly
See an old packet of photographs
Reach toward them
Touch them
Draw back
Do not look at the photos
Look at anything but the photos
Look at the floor
Look at the ceiling
Look hard at the ceiling
Watch the ceiling blur
Blink faster
Watch the ceiling blur
Whisper "No"
Whisper it again
Be silent

The news hits like venom into the heart
ice into the veins
The end of my world has arrived
on the solemn, black-garbed wings
of the briefest of phone calls
The news stands before me now
silent as the harvester himself
face averted from my horror
My last symbol of human love and goodness
has been destroyed
My hope and faith have deserted me
She is dead.

I will pray
I will pray first for her soul
that she has passed the unknown tests
that she now brightens the stars above
I know that to be true
I will accept no other possibility
I will pray first for her soul
but then I shall rant and accuse
I shall demand answers of the sky
I shall cry for justice and shriek for fear
I shall bellow for resignations
I shall blaspheme
and then I will beg for relief
for release
for death
When there is nothing left to pray for
I will pray for death
Please do not fail me this time

I reel through a few pointless days
Work cannot distract
Sleep is no escape
for I dream
Bourbon amplifies the dreams
to the point of pain
For the first time ever
blues cannot help
The greatest musicians come close to the truth
but they fall short
I spend my spare time
screaming rage at bare walls
wailing like a lost baby
slamming my fists into doors, walls, tables
floors, desks, pillows
I play with matches
I play with knives
The walls continue to interest my vision
Food? I'm not hungry
Everything is empty

At last, I touch the photos
old photos
but new as yesterday
Photographs snapped by my happy, drunken hand
Forgotten friends cavort again
raise mugs in tribute
make good-naturedly obscene gestures to the camera
She is among those photographed that night
Her grinning face stares unseeingly into mine
from a half-dozen pictures
Smiling with the happiness of being surrounded by friends
of being loved
Her joyful green eyes never dreaming her fate
And all the while, my rickety little camera,
so rarely competent,
expertly sliced away posed moments of time
for tearful perusal years later
Tousled blond hair
the sultry, optimistic eyes
the nonstop electric smile

I greeted the first big storm of the season
I stood on the front porch
a glass of bourbon in one hand
and watched the thick black clouds roll in
bellies flashing with lightning
thunder whispering hoarsely on the distant wind
ozone swirling in the air
I was there for the first icy drop of water
for the downpour
for the full shrieking fury of the storm
I accepted the storm's rage
I welcomed the sizzling bolts and deafening blasts
I let the rain soak me
and fill my emptied glass
I was gone the next day

Quest for the Grail:
After twelve hours of driving
I am on a narrow road in New Mexico
The dull asphalt is cracked and pitted
scorched by decades of sun and wind
Altitude is slowly rising
Brush is growing thicker
The rough scrub has sprouted into squat round bushes
and then into tired, stunted trees
Yucca crawls across the scenery
The sky stretches from horizon to horizon
Every cassette I brought along
has been overplayed
so I listen to the mindless static of my radio
to the constant drone of my punished engine
I listen to the miles blow by at 60 mph
I listen for a hint of meaning

At a small convenience store outside Santa Rosa
I stop to buy gas
check the oil
grab a soda
I buy a new cassette
to relieve the wearying silence of my car
I pay a fat old woman with a crooked smile
She asks where I am going
Before I can answer, she says,
"Going to visit her grave, are you?"
After I escape to my car
I play my new Steppenwolf tape
As the opening chord of
"Cradle of Love" blasts from my speakers
I drive down the road

Thirty miles later
I pull off the road
to stare at a metropolis
which has sprung up next to the highway
The primitive houses and towers shine
with yellow light
reflected in the sun
The streets bustle with parade-goers
thronging to behold a vision
The sign says "Welcome to Tontoneac"
I crawl through the barbed-wire fence
walk past the bored cattle
and enter the city
The racket of the cheering crowds is incredible
I stop a young Indian
with raven hair down to his waist
He wears blue jeans
cowboy boots
a Grateful Dead T-shirt
"What is this place?" I ask him
He laughs and shouts
"You've found Tontoneac, white man!"
"The largest and greatest of
the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola!"
He runs down the street
past a group of conquistadores giving
directions to a vanload of elderly Floridians
I join the crush
peering over heads
"What's going on?" I ask
"What's the big deal?"
No one answers
They stare ahead

I see the old woman from the convenience store
She's leaning out of one of the high windows
yelling and drinking a beer
A small boy sits on the ledge above her
I have not seen him since grade school
I run into two black men
One is dressed like a hippie
He has a shaggy afro and mustache
The second has short hair
and wears an old brown suit and fedora
Both carry guitars
They greet me warmly
I begin to ask my questions
but they shout and point
I turn
and it is her
floating over the cheering crowd
blessing the millions
smiling with the happiness of being surrounded by friends
of being loved
Her every pore was sunlight
I stare up goggle-eyed
as she slowly drifts over
She looks down at me and waves
I wave back
and then
She disappears with Tontoneac
After a minute, I walk back
past the nonchalant cows
through the barbed-wire fence
I get back in my car
and resume my pilgrimage

I make my arrival
I park the car outside the gates
and walk slowly through the cemetery
past Smiths and Joneses
past Van der Meeres and Rockefellers
past the fenced graves of infants
the stately crypts of wealthy families
the unmarked plots of beggars
Her place lies apart from the rest
The dirt of her grave is still bare of grass
Her stone is simple
just her name
her birthday
and her last day
The grave is littered
with flowers and ribbons
cards and a rag doll
photographs and diamond rings
I lay my roses
(long-stemmed, red)
on the grave
and stand back to watch
Time passes
"Are you there?" I ask
I get no answer
I let time pass again
"Can you hear me?" I ask
No answer
I touch her name
letter by letter
I peer into the clouding sky
I drop to my knees
touch the dirt
dig my fingers in
I cry hard
I cry like I haven't cried since I was a baby
A few small raindrops fall on her grave
"I love you" I shout into the dirt
"I love you"
There is no answer
Time passes
heartbeats like millennia
I rise
I cannot brush the dirt from my fingers
I walk back through the cemetery
past Washingtons and Lincolns
past Changs and Ybarras
I get in the car
I drive away

Let the musicians play
Let them all play together
Let them perform a requiem to shame death
Give Mozart and Zappa free rein
Bring Robert Johnson and B.B. King together
Let Hank and Patsy co-exist
with Jimi and Stevie Ray
Guns N' Roses and the Doors will perform the prelude
Muddy Waters and Melissa Ethridge will play with Rundgren and Clapton
Marvin Gaye and Elton John will follow
Metallica will play the new Beethoven-Vicious-Lennon collaboration
Freddie Mercury will sing with Led Zeppelin
Tribal drums will join with humbled philharmonics
The Navajo and Apache will dance together
Garage bands, gospel choirs and legends will unite to mourn
Zeus, Jehovah and Loki will sing back-up
while Coyote howls a mourning dirge with the Wolf
Ice-T and the Who
Latifah and Aretha
U2 and Chuck Berry
ZZ Top and the Crickets
Let everyone play
Violin with harmonica
Guitar with lute
Synthesizer with tuba
Gothic organ over it all
Rappers and screechers together
Let a billion bands play through all time
They can shake the earth
raise the thunder
rip the sky
The closing jam session can shatter the stars, if they want
but I will not care
I will not listen
I will not laugh
She is dead
but I live on

The years will ripen into decades
and from there to centuries
Grass will grow on the earthen mound
The presents at the tombstone
will diminish
and disappear
The marble stone will age and crack
Her mourners will join her in death
They will acquire mourners of their own
Each passing generation will
tell less of her story
until her name is no more than
a notation in ancient records
and a decaying stamp on a gravestone
And in time
records can rot
stone can crumble
She will be forgotten
That cycle can never change

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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