The earliest known practice of honoring the dead dates back to the late 2nd century.

According to Aaron Green, a classical music expert, the earliest surviving musical examples only date back to the 10th century. Today we are left with 105+ Requiem chants. These chants thrived between the 10th and 14th centuries. A chant is non-rhythmic monophonic melody. Regional differences has caused a variety of Requiem chants.

What are Requiem Masses? They are the masses that are offered for the dead. The name comes from the first word of Introit which may be traced to the Fourth Book of Esdras.  The soul is immortal and thus Christians believe with St. Paul that we sleep in Christ. Hence, from the second century, prayers were offered that the dead might have eternal rest.

The Mass contains the liturgical texts that form the variable parts of the Mass, namely the Introit, Prayer, Epistle, Gradual, and Tract and at times the Sequence, Gospel, Offertory, Secret, Communion, and Post-Communion. Did you know that the Offertory is among the prayers that were formerly recited for the sick who were about to die?

To find out more intimate details about the origins of the Requiem Mass, the formulary and what color vestments are worn by the priest during a Requiem Mass listen to Your Morning Tradition from 6am – 8am or from 3pm – 5pm CDT, USA on Magnificat Radio at when we interview Louis Tofari from ROMANITAS PRESS, Friday, September 4, 2015.

Listen to the wonderful music at the Requiem Mass.

Requiem aeternum (Introit)     Intro Music

Dies irae (Sequence)     Half time music

Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Officium Defunctorem       Ending Music