Lux aeterna

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Lux aeterna is the communion in the liturgical funeral mass , named after its incipit . It belongs to the proprium , the parts of the Holy Mass that change according to the occasion , and is sung for communion . It concerns the request formulated in Latin for eternal light ( lux 'light' aeternus 'eternal'), which may illuminate the deceased. In Requiems compositions, the singing follows the Agnus Dei .


Original Latin text German translation
Lux aeterna luceat ice, domine: *
Cum Sanctis tuis in aeternum: quia pius es.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
℟ Cum Sanctis tuis in aeternum: quia pius es.
The eternal light shine on them, O Lord. *
With your saints forever: for you are mild.
Lord, give them eternal rest, and the eternal light shine on them.
℟ By your saints for ever: for you are mild.

Text template

The text is based on a passage in the pseudepigraphic 4th book of Ezra (chap. 2,34f.), Which was written around the year 100 AD and was included in the Latin Biblia Vulgate :

4 Esr 2,34f. German translation
Ideoque vobis dico gentes, quae auditis, et intelligitis:
Exspectate pastorem vestrum; requiem aeternitatis dabit vobis,
quoniam in proximo estili, qui in fine saeculi adveniet.
Parati estote ad praemia regni,
quia lux perpetua lucebit vobis per aeternitatem temporis.
And I say to you, you peoples who hear and you know:
expect your shepherd; he will give you the rest of eternity,
because he is near who will come at the end of time.
Be ready for the reward of the kingdom,
because the continual light will shine for you through the eternity of time.

Lux aeterna as the title of compositions

The US-American composer Morten Lauridsen set a non-liturgical requiem under the title Lux Aeterna , which contains liturgical texts with reference to the light theme.

A piece of the same name was written by the film composer Clint Mansell for the film Requiem for a Dream . A remake of the piece can also be heard in the trailer for the film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as well as in numerous other trailers.

Also known is György Ligeti's Lux Aeterna , a composition for a 16-part mixed a cappella choir from 1966, which was later used as the music for Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey .

The Lux Aeterna by Edward Elgar is a choral arrangement of Nimrod variation Elgar's Enigma Variations , which by the British composer John Cameron comes.


  1. a b Benedictines of the Archabbey of Beuron (ed.): The complete Roman missal in Latin and German. New edition. Herder Verlag, Freiburg-Basel-Vienna 1963, p. [209].