The Requiem Mass (Totenmesse, Messe des Mortis, Messe des morts, or Missa pro defunctis), a mass honoring the dead, takes its name from the first Latin word of the Introit, which begins Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine (Grant them eternal rest, O Lord).
A musical setting of the requiem differs from the normal sung Mass in that it not only includes certain items of the ordinary mass and excludes others, but also includes the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion sentences from the Proper. The Gloria and Credo are omitted, and a Tract is substituted for the Alleluia. This is followed by the Sequence (Dies irae), which is often is a major dramatic element in the composition. Sometimes responses and other texts are added from the burial service, which usually follows directly after the Mass.
View the Wikipedia article on Requiem.
Settings by composers
This list is updated by hand. A more complete list ordered alphabetically is available at Requiems
Other settings possibly not included in the manual list above
- Johann Kaspar Aiblinger — Requiem in d
- Georg Arnold — Missa II por defunctis
- Georg Arnold — Missa III pro defunctis
- Giovanni Matteo Asola — Missa pro defunctis, 1576
- Claudio Casciolini — Missa pro defunctis
- Maurizio Cazzati — Messa per li defonti
- Giovanni Carlo Maria Clari — Missa pro defunctis
- Jean Colin — Missa pro defunctis a 6
- Christoph Dalitz — Requiem aeternam
- Charles d’Helfer — Missa pro defunctis
- Caspar Ett — Missa pro defunctis ad 4 voces inaequales
- Carlotta Ferrari — Piccolo Requiem
- Johann Joseph Fux — Requiem in c, KV51
- François Giroust — Messa pro defunctis
- Óscar Manuel Paredes Grau — Requiem aeternam
- V. V. Hausmann — Requiem in Es
- Johann Michael Haydn — Missa pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo
- Niccolò Jommelli — Missa defunctorum
- Josquin des Prez — De profundis a 5
- Benet Julià — Missa de difunts I
- Max Keller — 2. kurzes Requiem
- Johann Caspar Kerll — Missa pro defunctis
- Jens Klimek — Requiem
- Jens Klimek — Requiescat
- Antonio Lotti — Missa pro defunctis
- Allan Loucks — Requiem In D-Minor
- Allan Loucks — The Letters Finale
- Allan Loucks — The Letters Fugue
- Allan Loucks — The Letters Overture
- Giovanni Battista Martini — Requiem aeternam
- Jacques Mauduit — Requiem
- Juan Montes — Misa de difuntos
- Giovanni Maria Nanino — Gradual and Tract for a Requiem
- Sigismund Ritter von Neukomm — Requiem pour la Chapelle Royale de Dreux
- José Maurício Nunes Garcia — Funeral Office and Mass
- José Maurício Nunes Garcia — Requiem 1816
- José Maurício Nunes Garcia — Requiem Mass - 1809
- Paolo Pandolfo — Requiem
- Roger Petrich — Requiem Eternam
- Giuseppe Pitoni — Requiem aeternam
- Ildebrando Pizzetti — Messa di Requiem
- Oreste Ravanello — Missa Pro defunctis
- Joseph Renner — Requiem nr. 1
- Joseph Renner — Requiem Nr. 3
- Josef Rheinberger — Requiem, JWV 108
- Josef Rheinberger — Requiem, WoO 46
- Ambros Rieder — Requiem in d
- Martin Rudolph — Indian Requiem
- Luigi Antonio Sabbatini — Hostias et preces
- Anton Schmid — Requiem in d
- Giovanni Sgambati — Requiem
- David Joseph Stith — Missa pro defunctis
- Pietro Antonio Tamburini — Missa defunctorum
- Cesare Tudino — Requiem aeternam
- Pietro Yon — Missa et Absolutio pro Defunctis
- Vlad Zoborovski — Requiem
Text and translations
The sequence of liturgical movements established in 1570 by the Council of Trent is as follows:
- Introit: Requiem aeternam… Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion…
- Gradual: Requiem aeternam… In memoria aeterna erit iustus… (Lasso, Richafort, du Caurroy and others set the Gradual text Si ambulem in medio umbrae mortis (Though I walk in the middle of the shadow of death)).
- Tract: Absolve, Domine (The Sarum rite calls for Sicut cervus, also used in Ockeghem's Requiem)
- The Gradual and Tract are often omitted by composers, and it is not always clear that they then had to be chanted. The forward to the NMA Requiem notes with surprise the conjunction in an 1828 manual of church music: "After the epistle the gradual follows: Absolve Domine, or Dies irae" .
- Sequence: Dies irae
- Offertory Domine Jesu Christe - Hostias et preces
- Sanctus & Benedictus (sometimes an elevation motet such as Pie Jesu replaces Benedictus, a common French tradition.)
- Agnus Dei (miserere nobis is changed to dona eis requiem sempiternam)
- Communion Lux aeterna
Because the funeral mass does not end with the usual dismissal but leads into the burial service, many composers have appended texts from the Office of the Dead:
- Libera me (Exsequiae)
- In Paradisum (Valediction)
The famous Requiem of Tomás Luis de Victoria is actually part of a larger Office of the Dead (Officium defunctorum), as Victoria has supplemented the basic Requiem with a lesson from the service of Matins (Taedet animam meam), a funeral motet (Versa est in luctum), and the Responsory from the burial service (Libera me).
The Gloria and Credo, normally part of the Mass ordinary, are omitted from the requiem on the grounds that such overtly joyful texts would be out of place in a Mass for the dead.
Before the Tridentine reforms standardised the propers of the Requiem Mass, some composers used alternative texts for some movements, e.g. Orlando di Lasso sets the Gradual text Si ambulem in medio umbrae mortis (Though I walk in the middle of the shadow of death). While French composers had often set the Sequence (Dies irae) in its own right, Jean Gilles, Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé did not set it at all in their Requiems. Hector Berlioz reshuffled and slightly altered the lyrics of the Sequence.
Second Vatican Council reforms
In 1970 substantive changes were introduced, most notably the omission of the sequence Dies irae (which is still permitted for some weekday masses before Advent). Alternatives were added in the Gregorian Missal:
- For the gradual: Convertere Domine, Laetatus sum, Si ambulem, or Unam petii.
- The tract De profundis was added as an alternate to Absolve, but only permitted during Lent. Alleluias are to be chosen from: Requiem aeternam, De profundis, In exitu, and Laetatus sum.
- the Offertory verse Hostias is optional, and other offertories may be substituted: De profundis, Domine convertere, Illumina oculos & Si ambulavero.
- additional communions: Amen dico vobis quod uni, Domine quinque talenta, Dominus regit, Illumina faciem tuam, Notas mihi fecisti and Qui manducat.
Other stumbling blocks that arise from the use of old music with the Novus Ordo are the pauses for the spoken dialogues before the Kyrie and the communion antiphon; this has led to such abominations as letting the orchestra vamp on the last measures of Fauré's agnus during the Ecce agnus…Domine, non dignum dialogue.
- Online guide to Requiem
- Requiem scores at IMSLP