from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Requiem (plural the Requiems , regionally also the Requien ), liturgical Missa pro defunctis ("Mass for the deceased"), also death official or soul office , is the holy mass in the Roman Catholic and in the Eastern Church in memory of the deceased. Often a soul ministry also goes back to a fair scholarship . Soul masses ( seasons ) to be held annually by foundations are recorded in year books .

The liturgical form of the funeral mass is the requiem. The term refers to both the liturgy of Holy Mass at the funeral ceremony of the Catholic Church and church music compositions for commemorating the dead . It is derived from the incipit of the Introitus Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine (" Grant them eternal rest , O Lord"). The proprium of the liturgy of the Requiem corresponds to that of All Souls Day . It can also be used as a votive mass at funeral masses on the occasion of annual or memorial days for the deceased, if no festival or memorial day has liturgical priority .

The requiem celebrated by a bishop or infulfilled abbot is called a pontifical requiem . The Requiem can be celebrated in close connection with the funeral, but also independently at a different time of day. Depending on the local conditions, several forms of funeral ceremony are possible. If the coffin can be brought into the church for the Requiem, it will be in a suitable place in the chancel.

The Requiem in the Catholic Liturgy

Requiem in the crypt of the Strasbourg cathedral


Eucharistic funeral celebrations are documented in the Acts of John at the end of the second century . At the beginning of the third century, Tertullian mentions the commemoration of the dead on the anniversary with the oblationes pro defunctis (in English: payments for the deceased ) in his work De corona militis ( From the soldier's wreath ). In the late fourth century, liturgical remembrance of the dead is mentioned in the Apostolic Constitutions (8th Book, Chapter 12). End of the fifth century, the commemoration of the dead emerged as a litany in the Deprecatio Gelasii of Pope Gelasius on. The collection of liturgical prayers Sacramentarium Leonianum from the seventh century contains five forms of mass prayers super defunctos (in German: about the deceased ) and a special form of the Hanc ígitur oblationem ( take graciously on these gifts ) in the mass canon . The Missal of Abbey Bobbio from the early tenth century knows the dead also concern.


The various local variants of commemoration of the dead were standardized by the proprium in the wake of the Council of Trent (1545) and established in 1570 by Pope Pius V's Roman Missal . The Apostolic Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Second Vatican Council resulted in some minor changes. In its liturgy constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium (No. 81), the council stipulated that the liturgy for the dead should “ express more clearly the Easter meaning of Christian death”. Since then, the form of the office of the resurrection came into use in the Catholic Church .

The liturgical sequence of a Requiem is similar to that of the Holy Mass on working days in times of penance ( Advent , Lent ). The Gloria , which is intended for joyful and festive occasions, and the creed of Sundays and celebrations are omitted. The Alleluia is replaced by a tract that was previously followed by the sequence Dies irae ; this is no longer an integral part of the requiem.

The proprium of the funeral mass outside of Lent is as follows:

  1. Introit : Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine .
  2. Graduals : Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine .
  3. Tract : Absolve domine
  4. Offertory : Domine Jesu Christe
  5. Communion : Lux aeterna

The Agnus Dei had before the liturgical reform in 1970 one from the text of the Ordinary of different version. Instead of twice miserere nobis and dona nobis pacem , Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem were sung three times in the Requiem ; the third time, a sempitername was added to this line for confirmation. This deviation was motivated by the idea that the healing effect of the mass for the dead alone should get the deceased, which is why the prayer itself ( "Have mercy not the worshiper our ") is turned, but the dead ( "Give them the (eternal) peace") . Other deviations (such as the omission of the final blessing) were also justified in this. Today the Agnus Dei is sung in the Requiem in the version of the Ordinarium.

In the opening words Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine the character of the funeral mass, the pleading of the living for the salvation of the dead, is expressed. The two recurring texts Requiem aeternam dona eis and lux perpetua luceat eis in the proprium of the funeral mass are based on the two verses 34 and 35 from the second chapter of the apocryphal fourth book Esra requiem aeternitatis dabit vobis and quia lux perpetua lucebit vobis per aeternitatem temporis , which presumably were written around 100 AD.

The Introitus Requiem aeternam in the Liber Usualis
Original text (Latin) Translated text

I. Introitus
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem:
exaudi orationem meam,
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine ...

Lord, give them eternal rest,
and the eternal light shine on them.
Praise be to you, Lord, on Zion;
you are being fulfilled in Jerusalem.
Answer my prayer;
all meat comes to you.
Lord, give them eternal rest ...

II. Graduale
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
In memoria aeterna erit justus:
from auditione mala non timebit.

Lord, give them eternal rest,
and the eternal light shine on them.
The righteous live on in eternal memory:
he need not fear bad news.

Measurement series

The custom of celebrating a series of funeral masses on several consecutive days is already established in the visions of Pope Gregory I. The Gregorian mass series , which are celebrated to varying degrees, developed from this .

The Requiem in Music

First piece of musical Messpropriums the Introit was mostly mitvertont of the composer, also the Offertory, in contrast to the sequence for various reasons (time, size) is sometimes shortened or omitted entirely.

In old Requiem compositions, the accompanying, unaccompanied and unanimous Gregorian chorale is the basis of the composition, as is the case with Alessandro Scarlatti and even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (quote from the Tonus peregrinus in the first movement (Requiem aeternam) for the text Te decet Hymnus deus in Sion ( Soprano solo)). Maurice Duruflé's Requiem is based on Gregorian melodies. Altuğ Ünlü has integrated the Gregorian gradual Clamaverunt justi of the time in the annual cycle into the first movement of his Requiem .

As a rule, settings of the Requiem consist of the following sequence of sentences, in which texts from both the Proprium and the Ordinarium are set to music:

  1. Introit : Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine .
  2. Kyrie
  3. Sequence : Dies irae
  4. Offertory : Domine Jesu Christe
  5. Sanctus and Benedictus
  6. Agnus Dei
  7. Communion : Lux aeterna

The sequence is often divided into several sentences. As a special feature of the French rite, a Pie Jesu (last half-verse of Dies Irae ) is added as a separate sentence (before the Agnus Dei or between Sanctus and Benedictus), sometimes omitting the sequence (e.g. Gabriel Fauré , Maurice Duruflé , but also - although not French - Cristóbal de Morales , John Rutter ), partly in addition (e.g. Marc-Antoine Charpentier ), with which the text is set to music twice.

Original text (Latin) Translated text

Pie Jesu, Domine
dona eis requiem,
requiem sempiternam.

Kind Jesus, Lord,
give them rest,
eternal rest.

Many composers, e.g. B. Gabriel Fauré and Giuseppe Verdi , also set the responsory Libera me from the liturgy of the church funeral to music .

Original text (Latin) Translated text

Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna,
in the illa tremenda,
quando coeli movendi sunt et terra,
dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo,
dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira.
Dies illa, dies irae,
calamitatis et miseriae,
dies magna et amara valde.
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Save me, Lord, from eternal death
on that day of horror,
where heaven and earth shake,
when you come to judge the world by fire.
I am seized with tremors and fear,
because the account is approaching and the anger threatening.
O that day, day of wrath,
disaster, misery,
oh day, so great and so bitter,
when you come to judge the world by fire.
Lord, give them eternal rest,
and the eternal light shine on them.

Many composers set the hymn In paradisum (e.g. Gabriel Fauré ) to music at the end, also from the exequies .


While in the time of the Viennese Classic the Requiem still had the function of a musical accompaniment to the church service (e.g. with Antonio Salieri , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf , Joseph Martin Kraus , François-Joseph Gossec , Michael Haydn , Luigi Cherubini ), the setting gradually began to break away from church ties. Even Hector Berlioz 's monumental and large-scale work is designed more for the concert hall. The corresponding compositions by Louis Théodore Gouvy , Antonín Dvořák , Giuseppe Verdi and Charles Villiers Stanford , in which the orchestra is assigned an increasingly important part , also understand themselves in this tradition . But there are also smaller-sized works from this period that are still designed for use in the church, such as B. by Anton Bruckner , Franz Liszt , Camille Saint-Saëns and Josef Gabriel Rheinberger . Between these two poles is Felix Draeseke , who created both a symphonic and an a cappella requiem.

The German Requiem of the Protestant Johannes Brahms uses freely chosen texts from the Luther Bible , not those of the Catholic liturgy , whereas the Estonian Cyrillus Kreek with his Reekviem from 1927, a work commissioned by the Lutheran Church in Estonia, resorted to the Latin Requiem, but incorporated modifications such as the Westminster Chime or the hint of the chorale Christ has arisen . From the late Romantic period onwards , the number of Requiem compositions dwindled noticeably. In many settings, the importance of the text recedes in favor of the increasingly symphonic treatment of the large orchestral apparatus, as in Max Reger and Richard Wetz . These works are designed exclusively as concert music and can only be used as such. Others emphasize the text and give their works a liturgical character again (e.g. Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé , who both omit the Dies Irae ).

The requiem still plays an important role in modern music. In Benjamin Britten's setting War Requiem , the words of the liturgy are combined with poems by the English poet Wilfred Owen . Other important compositions after the Second World War were created by Boris Blacher , György Ligeti , John Rutter , Krzysztof Penderecki , Rudolf Mauersberger , Paul Zoll (he used a German text consisting of excerpts from Ernst Wiechert's funeral mass ) and Heinrich Sutermeister , Joonas Kokkonen , Riccardo Malipiero , Günter Raphael and Manfred Trojahn . The Requiem for a Young Poet by Bernd Alois Zimmermann occupies a special position on texts by various poets, reports and reports. Compositions without text with the title Requiem , such as that by Hans Werner Henze , which is set in the form of nine sacred concertos for solo piano, concert trumpet and large chamber orchestra, are increasingly appearing . On the occasion of the 100th year of commemoration (2014) after the beginning of the First World War , the Ligeti student Altuğ Ünlü composed a requiem . The "Requiem X" by the Swiss composer Christoph Schnell occupies a special position among modern Requiem compositions: It is the only Requiem that was made into a film under the composer's direction.

The Requiem by British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber won the 1986 Grammy Award for best classical contemporary composition. Georges Delerue set the Introit of the Requiem and the Libera me to music for the film Black Robe in 1991 .

See also


  • Ursula Reichert, Tibor Kneif:  Requiem. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, material part, volume 8 (flute suite). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1998, ISBN 3-7618-1109-8 , Sp. 156–170 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  • Paul Thissen: The Requiem in the 20th Century. First part: settings of the Missa pro defunctis. Register. Studiopunkt, Sinzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-89564-133-6 .
  • Paul Thissen: Non-liturgical Requien. Second part: non-liturgical requiums. With a catalog of 230 works. Studiopunkt, Sinzig 2011, ISBN 978-3-89564-139-8 .
  • Diocese of Basel, Archbishop's Ordinariate (HRSG): yearly foundations / fair grants. Pastoral Considerations and Guidelines (September 30, 2015); accessed on October 30, 2018 (PDF; 265 kB)

Web links

Commons : Requiems  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Requiem  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. according to Duden , see also Wiktionary entry
  2. Bruno Kleinheyer , Emmanuel von Severus , Reiner Kaczynski : Sacramental Feasts II (= church service. Handbook of liturgical science, part 8). Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg 1984, ISBN 3-7917-0940-2 , p. 218 f.
  3. Biblia Sacra Vulgata - 4th Ezra, 2 ,, accessed on November 3, 2019
  4. ^ Adolph Franz : The mass in the German Middle Ages. Contributions to the history of the liturgy and popular religious life. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1902; New print Darmstadt 1963, 218-267, especially 247-266.
  5. in Missa pro defunctis a 5 from Missarum Liber Secundus (Rome 1544)
  6. ^ Paul Thissen: The Requiem in the 20th Century . First part: settings of the “Missa pro defunctis” , Sinzig 2009
  7. Martin Preisser: St. Gallen composer filmed his Requiem: Here the soul goes into light after death . In: St.Galler Tagblatt . October 31, 2019 ( ).