Thursday, October 30, 2014


Our choirs had their final rehearsal Wednesday night for Faure's Requiem on Sunday, November 2nd, at 12:10 PM at Saint Joseph Church, Macon, Georgia.

Our 12:10 PM Mass is "ad orientem" for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. However, it is an Ordinary Form Mass. We normally celebrate the EF Mass with this Requiem, but since it falls on a Sunday this year, we decided to celebrate it at one of our normal but extra-normal Ordinary Form Sunday Mass and what better Mass than the Ordinary Form celebrated ad orientem each Sunday!

We will incorporate, though, some EF elements into this Mass. It will be primarily in Latin, but with English for the Collects, Preface and readings. Vesture for Celebrant, deacon and subdeacon will be black!

However, we will substitute the EF's Gradual for the Responsorial Psalm, Gregorian chanted in Latin.
After the second reading (Epistle) the Dies Irae will be chanted in Latin as the Sequence. The Latin Tract will follow and act as the Gospel Acclamation. All the Propers will be chanted, the Introit and Kyrie from Faure's Requiem as well as the Offertory Chant and Communion Chant.

The Final Commendation will be as is in the Ordinary form (catafalque with six candles will be present at all our Sunday Masses). This means that after the Prayer after Holy Communion, prayed from the chair, the celebrant goes to the center of the sanctuary, faces the congregation and as the Introduction to the "Chant of Farewell." As the choir then sings Faure's "Libera Me" the catafalgue is sprinkled with Holy Water and incensed. Then there is the concluding prayer, Final Blessing and Dismissal with the "In Paradisum" sung from Faure's Requiem.  Both the Libera Me and In Paradisum are stunningly moving.

2012's EF Version of Faure's Requiem:


Jdj said...

Stunningly beautiful and transcendent...just as "High Mass" was & is intended to be...

John Nolan said...

In the EF calendar when All Souls falls on a Sunday it is transferred to the Monday. So an EF Mass for the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed would not be an option on 2nd November this year.

In England and Wales if All Saints falls on a Saturday it is transferred to the Sunday, and so All Souls (in both Forms) will be celebrated on Monday 3rd.

Next Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, the nearest Sunday to Armistice Day (11/11) and for many years it has been the custom to celebrate a Requiem Mass on this day for the dead of two world wars and more recent conflicts (usually the principal Mass). This is the only time that one would normally encounter a Requiem Mass on a Sunday, and in the OF the Credo is sometimes sung.

Mordacil said...

I hate that I've had to move away from Macon. I would have loved to attend these masses at St. Joseph's.

Anonymous said...

In the video, was this an actual Mass for someone who was deceased, or was the casket symbolic? Regardless, in a Requiem Mass, when and how is the casket removed from the church? I really expected ushers to guide the casket in procession after the priests, as they do in a OF Funeral Mass.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The video is of our All Souls' Day Mass in 2012 and the casket is a catafalque to symbolize the faithful departed. It would be in place and remain.

John Nolan said...

I have never seen absolutions at the catafalque in an Ordinary Form Mass. This is no doubt because there are no absolutions as such, but a Rite of Final Commendation and Farewell, which is omitted when the body is not present. If memory serves, the absolutions on All Souls Day and Remembrance Sunday were discontinued in 1965 along with the Dies Irae Sequence, in the first tranche of radical liturgical reforms.

Also in the OF the Responsory 'Libera me Domine de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda' with its striking references to Judgement Day, 'dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde, dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem' (which is of course the text that Gabriel Faure set) has been replaced with a milder version. In the older rite this was the final responsory of the third Nocturn of Matins: 'Libera me Domine, de viis inferni, qui portas aeras confregisti; et visitasti infernum, et dedisti eis lumen, ut viderent te; qui erant in poenis tenebrarum'.

According to Bugnini the Consilium wanted to remove the 'negative' connotations associated with the older Rite.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Technically John, the catafalque is not forbidden in the Ordinary Form, however the Final Commendation will be from the Ordinary Form's funeral rite. There will be the official Invitation to Prayer, which has a number of options, then the "Song of Farewell". The Funeral Rite then states that certain responsories may be sung or "SOME OTHER SUITABLE SONG MAY BE SUNG". This rubric certainly allows for a lot of silly things, but certainly the Libera Me is not silly and is certainly a suitable song, no?

The catafalque according to the rubrics may be incensed and sprinkled with Holy Water but not in that order. Then In Paradisum is sung as the recessional. There will be a Blessing and Dismissal prior to the In Paradisum.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Clearly our All Souls' Ordinary Form Requiem will show how the EF Requiem can influence the OF and recover wonderful elements lost by the reform.

John Nolan said...

Absolutely, Fr AJM! 'Alius cantus aptus' in the Ordinary Form rubrics would certainly cover the EF's 'Libera Me'. Generally speaking, the EF's rubrics are prescriptive, whereas the OF's (cf. The GIRM) are descriptive. This makes it much easier for he EF to 'enrich' the OF than vice-versa.

If the use of the catafalque was indeed forbidden in 1965 this arguably applies only to the Rite existing at that time, and not to the Novus Ordo which only came into effect in 1970. I have attended not a few Latin Requiems in the OF, and many of them (particularly on All Souls Day) include the Sequence sung in its traditional place.

Also, there is no reason why absolutions at the catafalque in the older Rite should not follow an OF Mass which has been concluded with the Ite Missa Est, in the same way that the older rite of the Asperges can precede the Novus Ordo Mass which begins with the Introit. There is a lot of room for flexibility.