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(rĕk`wēəm, rē`–, rā`–) [Lat.,=rest], proper MassMass,
religious service of the Roman Catholic Church, which has as its central act the performance of the sacrament of the Eucharist. It is based on the ancient Latin liturgy of the city of Rome, now used in most, but not all, Roman Catholic churches. The term Mass [Lat.
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 for the souls of the dead, performed on All Souls' DayAll Souls' Day,
Nov. 2 (exceptionally, Nov. 3), feast of the Roman Catholic Church on which the church on earth prays for the souls of the faithful departed still suffering in purgatory. The proper office is of the dead, and the Mass is a requiem.
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 and at funerals. The reformation of Roman Catholic liturgy following the Second Vatican Council (see Vatican Council, SecondVatican Council, Second,
popularly called Vatican II,
1962–65, the 21st ecumenical council (see council, ecumenical) of the Roman Catholic Church, convened by Pope John XXIII and continued under Paul VI.
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) has modified the traditional requiem, and it is now called the Funeral Mass, Mass for the Dead, or Mass of Christian Burial. Black vestments are no longer required, white or purple may be worn, and flowers are permitted. The hymnody, while still solemn in tone, is often joyful and reflects hope in the resurrection and the service is conducted in the vernacular. Its peculiarities include omission of the Gloria, the creed, and the blessing of the people. The famous sequence, the Dies iraeDies irae
[Lat.,=day of wrath], hymn of the Roman Catholic Church. A part of the Requiem Mass, it is a powerful description of the Judgment and a prayer to Jesus for mercy. Suggested in part by Zeph. 1.14–16, it was probably written by Thomas of Celano.
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, is now optional. The opening words of the introit, "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them," echo through all the prayers for the dead. The traditional Gregorian musical setting of the requiem is quite beautiful; other requiem music has been written (e.g., by Mozart and Verdi), but it is not often heard in churches.



(in Russian, panikhida,) a church funeral service. In Eastern Orthodoxy, it is conducted over the deceased before burial; on the third, ninth, 20th, and 40th day after death; on anniversaries of the death; and on the birthday and saint’s day of the deceased. Besides individual requiems for each deceased, the church conducts general or universal requiems on certain days.

Secular requiems comparable to church requiems have become widespread. They include a memorial service and procession, with an honor guard at the bier.



a funeral mass in memory of the deceased and for the repose of their souls. The requiem mass is distinguished from the ordinary Catholic mass by the omission of certain sections (the Gloria and the Credo), for which other sections are substituted (the Requiem in the beginning, followed by the Dies irae, Tuba mirum, and Lacrimosa, for example).

Requiems by 15th- and 16th-century composers were cyclic, polyphonic, a cappella choral works based on Gregorian chant melodies. In the 17th and 18th centuries the requiem became a major work for choir, soloists, and orchestra and, for the most part, lost its connection with Gregorian chant. Composers combined homophonic and harmonic with polyphonic expressive means. The most outstanding requiems acquired nonreligious significance and were, as a rule, performed in concert halls. Mozart’s Requiem (1791), which was completed by his pupil F. Süssmayr, achieved world fame.

During the 19th century, requiems were composed by L. Cherubini, F. Liszt, A. Bruckner, and A. Dvořák. The most outstanding 19th-century requiems were written by Berlioz (1837) and Verdi (1874). Brahms’ A German Requiem (1868), which has a German text, is of special significance.

Requiems have also been written by contemporary composers, including B. Britten, whose War Requiem combines a liturgical Latin text with poems by W. Owen. Soviet composers do not use liturgical texts in requiems (for example, D. B. Kaba-levskii’s Requiem for V. I. Lenin [the Symphony No. 3, 1933] and his Requiem in memory of the victims of fascism [1963]).


Schnerich, A. Messe und Requiem seit Haydn und Mozart. Vienna-Leipzig, 1909.



religious mass (music or spoken) for the dead. [Christianity: Payton, 568]
See: Death


1. RC Church a Mass celebrated for the dead
2. a musical setting of this Mass
3. any piece of music composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person or persons
References in periodicals archive ?
REMEMBRANCE, celebration, fright and commemoration; the very first requiems composed in the Middle Ages evoked a myriad of images and emotions, and the requiem continues to have the same effect on listeners today.
TRANSL888 it: Remembrance, celebration, fright and commemoration; the very first requiems composed in the Middle Ages evoked a myriad of images and emotions, and the requiem continues to have the same effect on listeners today.
The programme begins with another of the best-loved Requiems, that by Faure, consolatory where the Mozart is dramatic (6pm, details on 0121 245 4455).
In fact, in his article "Venice aml Its Musical life," Thomson observed that, for all its inclination to contrapuntal textures, the work reaches an intensity of expression that recalls the Requiems of composers such as Berlioz and Verdi.
Unlike many other Requiems, Faur's is "comforting and inviting," she said.
The loss of all will be acknowledged by the concert in which requiems by Johannes Brahms and Herbert Howells will be performed by Durham Cathedral Choir and soprano Jessica Holmes, conducted by James Lancelot and Francesca Massey.
While requiems are traditionally written in response to death and mourning, Ms.
His compositions include eight symphonies, a cycle of seven symphonic poems, two operas, two Requiems, two Mass settings, a Missa Brevis, an oratorio, eleven string quartets and other chamber music and many songs and pieces for piano.
He is quite capable of writing half a dozen more Requiems, all as insufferable as this one.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem composition is among the most important of his work, as well as the most widely performed of all 18th century Requiems.
No wild requiems danced around night fires sing to their kin, still wild in the night, just as desperate, with a promise of springs left untainted, streams still running clean, wild lands left just because they are wild and sacred as such.
I'm excited to be singing the Brahms' Requiem again because it's such a beautiful piece, very different from the mourning of other requiems.