October 28, 2022

Worship and Evangelization Outreach / Andrew Motyka

Requiem Masses for the Dead set for Nov. 6 and Nov. 18

Andrew MotykaA few weeks ago, I wrote about the loving act of praying for the dead, and our duty as Christians to do so.

The month of November is an especially appropriate time to pray for the faithful departed; not only does it contain All Souls Day on Nov. 2, but the entire month is dedicated to them. Fortunately, the archdiocese is offering some opportunities to join in these prayers.

Vox Sacra, the schola cantorum for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, is leading music for two Masses for the Dead. The first is at 2 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Bishop Chartrand Memorial Chapel at Marian University in Indianapolis. The second is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 at St. Malachy Church in Brownsburg.

These choral Masses will be almost entirely sung, featuring the Requiem Mass by composer Maurice Duruflé. All are invited to join us in praying for the faithful departed in the beautifully sung worship of these Masses.

What is a choral Mass?

A choral Mass is a Mass in which most or all of the music is sung by a choir; the choir sings on behalf of the congregation.

In this case, most of the Mass will be sung by Vox Sacra and orchestra. The dialogues and several other parts of the Mass will be sung by the congregation, but less than at a “typical” Mass.

What is the Duruflé Requiem?

A Requiem Mass is any Mass for the Dead, and many composers have written musical settings of the texts of these Masses.

Maurice Duruflé completed his Requiem in 1947, using the traditional chants of the Requiem Mass. It is a masterpiece of 20th-century music.

Frequent Massgoers will recognize several of the melodies, especially the Sanctus and Agnus Dei, which use the familiar chants used in the Roman Missal, woven with beautiful choral and orchestral harmonies.

Is this a Latin Mass?

These Masses will be celebrated following the 2010 Roman Missal in English. While the choral parts of the Mass will largely be in Latin (with translations provided), the prayers, readings, and other responses of the Mass will be in English.

Nov. 6 is a Sunday. Would this fulfill my Sunday obligation to attend Mass?

Yes. Nov. 6 is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Even though we will celebrate a Mass for the Dead rather than the Mass of the day, attending any Mass on a Sunday fulfills your obligation to attend.

(Andrew Motyka works in the Office of Worship as the director of Archdiocesan and Cathedral Liturgical Music for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He can be reached at amotyka@archindy.org.) †

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