Friday, November 4, 2011

Requiem Mass

Yesterday evening we had the pleasure to experience the Requiem Mass at Stella Maris. The priest said the names of the dearly departed as the bells were rung. And then the music composed by Gabriel Faure started. Listen to the Introit and Kyrie. Doesn't it just transport you to a more holy and peaceful place?

Although I know that in every Mass, heaven and earth are joined, I feel it down to my bones during High Mass. I can imagine my mother and the brother and grandfather I never met joining in hymns of praise. I long to join them as well. I was especially touched that when we pray the Agnus Dei, we do not ask pardon for ourselves like we usually do, but for eternal peace for the dead.

Twenty five years ago, when I was singing in my college choir, we sang Verdi's Requiem. My mother had just died and I came down with pneumonia the week of the concert. So I went to Spokane on the choir bus and got myself a ticket to sit in the back. It was truly a blessing for me to be sick at that time because I could appreciate better the music for what it was -- a Mass for the dead. And now, as a Catholic, I understand it even more. 

If you are interested in the entire text, scroll down at this site.

After Mass, we had a potluck and I'm happy to say I met another fellow children's writer. What joy! A kindred spirit. I hope we can read for each other. I miss the weekly meetings with my writing partner Jen so very much because she always asked me questions and kept me true to my characters.
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12 comments:

Mirka Breen said...

Thanks for the lovely post. I’m not Catholic, but I can relate.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Mirka. Great music transcends differences in belief. Last year I went to a Jewish temple to pray with my friend and I shouldn't have been surprised to see the similarities in the prayer service. The chanting in Hebrew is beautiful and I was so impressed with the two young girls who read from the Torah for the first time.

Bish Denham said...

Church/choir music is often so very beautiful. You'll love this Vijaya. My sister, a Buddhist, sings in a Catholic church choir because she loves the music. And when I'm in the islands I go church with her on Sundays and get to listen to them. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Vijaya said...

Bish, I remember you telling me about your sister. All through my teen and college years when I professed to be an atheist, I still sang in the church choir because the director chose some of the most beautiful pieces to sing -- after all, almost everybody in there was in the music dept.

I find it odd now that I can have two perfectly contradictory thoughts in my head at once.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

How wonderful, Vijaya, and I'm so glad you found a potential new writing partner, too. What a blessing!

Amy

Vijaya said...

Thanks Amy. The blessings abound.

Faith E. Hough said...

Once again, I came to your blog and discovered a new connection with you. You just really are my spiritual big sister, I think! I sang in church choirs for years--my husband and I met in our church choir when I was a teenager, in fact, and we still sing for weddings and other occasions--always in beautiful chant or polyphony.
Faure's requiem is one of the most gorgeous things to sing or to hear... The Agnus Dei is my favorite.
And I'm so glad you found another writer!

Vijaya said...

Faith, I am so blessed that you found me on Angela's blog and that you wrote ... and so much of what you share resonates so deeply with me. Music can truly bind people together or lead them to the same state ...

How wonderful that you and Mark still sing together for special occasions -- perhaps you can make a little recording to share with us. And your sweet little girls could start a trio.

It's unfortunate that my husband and I no longer spend as much time on music as we used to. Must remedy that -- tonight.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I sang Faure's Requiem for Good Friday years ago. I adore it.

Vijaya said...

What a thing of beauty, Caroline. Thank you for stopping by to share.

wordwranglernc said...

Hi Vijaya! We celebrate All Saints Day at my church. It's a day to remember those who have passed away the year before and to celebrate their memory.

Your worship celebration sounds like a beautiful one!

Vijaya said...

I do love Nov. for this reason Donna -- asking the Saints in heaven to help us and praying for the souls of the dead that they may get to heaven. I've been going weekdays too, and the Mass is offered for those who've died. It really is wonderful to remember our beloved dead.