ESS THAN two weeks from now, the Church will observe All Souls’ Day. This annual commemoration is an opportunity to pray for all the faithful departed, invoking God’s mercy upon them. In addition to its spiritual efficacy, the Requiem Mass has also been the inspiration for innumerable works of art. Not least among these is the musical genre of the Requiem.
One of the most well-known and beloved settings of the Requiem Mass is that of Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924). Of this Mass, the composer once wrote:
“Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”
Fauré’s Requiem in D minor (Op. 48) even warrants its own Wikipedia page.
OR THE SECOND YEAR in a row, Fauré’s Requiem will be sung—not in concert, but within the liturgy—at an Extraordinary Form Mass held at the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II (3900 Harewood Road NE, Washington, DC 20017). The Mass will be offered Friday, November 2, 2018 at 7 PM. Whereas last year this Mass was a Missa cantata, this year it will be a Solemn High Mass. See the Facebook event page here.
The music for this Mass will adhere closely to the composer’s original instrumentation for strings, choir, and soloists. Readers who live in the greater Washington, DC area might consider marking All Souls’ Day this year at the JPII Shrine.