Friday, October 10, 2014

THE ANNIVERSARY OF POPE PIUS XII DEATH AND FAURE'S REQUIEM

I can remember the funeral of Pope Pius XII on our recently acquired first television a few days from day in 1958 when we lived outside the gate of Fort McPherson in East Point, Georgia (Atlanta). I was four years old and would be five in late December. Pope Pius XII in my mind always appears to be an aloof and stern sort of pope from pictures I saw. However my parents told me and this is verified by old film stock, that he was quite out-going and had a charismatic personality. He was a very popular pope and very saintly. The conspiracy against him and his canonization as a saint is sad and unfounded.

Speaking of death and Requiems, it is by happy coincidence that the Commemoration of All Souls falls on a Sunday this year. In the past we have celebrated a special evening Mass for All Souls in the Extraordinary Form with our combined choirs singing Faure's Requiem. It is a particularly beautiful and powerful Requiem.

This year, though, are combined choirs will be singing Faure's Requiem at our normal "ad orientem" 12:10 PM Sunday Mass in the Ordinary Form with EF sensibilities. At all our Sunday Masses that weekend we will have the symbolic catafalque in the aisle with the six candles around it.

Because our choirs are singing Faure's Requiem at our normal 12:10 PM Mass, we will not be celebrating our First Sunday of the Month 2:00 PM Mass in the Extraordinary Form in November. The 12:10 PM will appear as an EF Mass although using the Ordinary Form's Order of Mass. The Liturgy of the Word will be at the Ambo but we will chant in Latin the Gradual,then after the Second reading the Tract and Dies Irae in Latin Gregorian Chant but reversing the two as in the OF so that the Tract acts as the Gospel Acclamation after the chanting of the Dies Irae which is the Sequence. The Gospel chanted in English will be done at the side angle by the Gospel side of the altar.

At all our Requiem Masses on All Soul's Day we will also do the "Final Commendation" and symbolically commend all the faithful departed to God's merciful judgement by sprinkling and incensing the catafalque as the "Song of Farewell" is chanted. Faure's Requiem has a particularly beautiful "Hymn for Purification." Both this hymn of purification and its In Paradisum" are particularly powerful as you will note at the end of the presentation below. At all the other Masses our normal Requiem English version of "In Paradisum" will be sung as the recessional.

3 comments:

Henry said...

What color vestments will you be using for those OF All Souls Masses?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Black at all of them of course, is there any other color? Black dalmatic and tunic too.

Henry said...

Fr. M: Kudos. Yesterday I tuned in EWTN to view the funeral Mass of Fr. Groeschel. Turned if off upon seeing a sea of white vestments. Just couldn't take another instant-canonization Mass of Christian Resurrection.