A Requiem or Requiem Mass  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum), is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular formula of the Roman Missal. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.

"Requiem" is the accusative case of the Latin noun requies (rest, repose). The introit of the liturgy begins with the words "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" – "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord". This is still the first entrance antiphon among the formulas for Masses for the dead given in the Roman Missal as revised in 1970.

The term is used also for similar ceremonies in use outside the Catholic Church, especially in the Anglo-Catholic branch of Anglicanism and in certain Lutheran churches. A comparable service, with a wholly different ritual form and texts, exists in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches.

In addition, the word "Requiem" is used to mean a musical composition associated in some way with death and mourning, even without any religious relevance.

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