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 form of the Roman Missal. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.
Musical settings of the propers of the Requiem Mass are also called Requiems, and the term has subsequently been applied to other musical compositions associated with death and mourning, even when they lack religious or liturgical relevance.
The term is also used for similar ceremonies outside the Roman 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, as well as in the Methodist Church.
The Mass and its settings draw their name from the introit of the liturgy, which begins with the words “Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine” – “Grant them eternal rest, O Lord”. (“Requiem” is the accusative singular form of the Latin noun requies, “rest, repose”.) The Roman Missal as revised in 1970 employs this phrase as the first entrance antiphon among the formulas for Masses for the dead, and it remains in use to this day.
Music written for the Requiem Mass
Music for the Requiem Mass
Mozart: Requiem in D minor. K.626
Brahms: Ein Deutsche Requiem
Britten: War Requiem