Difference between a Requiem and a Funeral?
  • The select choir sang at the funeral of a cathedral employee yesterday.

    My friend asked me if we were to sing "Dona eis requiem" at the Agnus, to which I replied "no".
    Was this correct, or is there some information I'm missing?
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 975
    This IS one of the biggest difference between the EF Requiem Mass and the current "Rite of Christian Burial". It is part and parcel of the different approach to the Funeral Mass since Vatican II. The Old Rite was TOTALLY about the deceased, singular or plural. There were no blessings of the people present, not even the final blessing from the Celebrant. EVERYTHING said was for the benefit of the departed, even to the edification of all present. I believe it was also a significant part of the bereaved family and friends grieving and finding "closure". The OF Funeral Mass does a pretty nice job of "commemorating" the passing of the deceased, and there are some prayers specifically for the departed's soul, but usually no mention of "purgatory", only talk of how nice everything will be at the last day, and that is what we basically celebrate on the day. IOW, the congregation is asked to "transcend" the present moment into the future, even while the Liturgy doesn't ask nearly as much transcendence!

    So, like everything else in the modern Liturgy, it is all about everyone, and "dona eis requiem" is absolutely out!

    For me, personally, I want the old Rite, in toto - not one word from the Rite of Christian Burial! In fact, that leads me to another question: when will we be allowed a proper "Rite of Catholic Burial"?
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,075
    I remember the buzz when the rite was changed. Supposedly, as we were told, the old requiem was too influenced by the Black Plague and was dark and morbid. We were told funeral liturgies should celebrate the resurrection and be more hopeful and positive. Whatever! I suspect there were some valid points from both sides.
  • rarty
    Posts: 56
    Traditionally, in Masses for the dead, the responses at the Agnus Dei were modified:

    Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona eis requiem.
    Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona eis requiem.
    Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona eis requiem sempiternam.

    This modification is no longer indicated in the Order of Mass (or Christian Burial), so you were perfectly correct.

    This is one of only a few substantive changes in the chants for the Mass for the dead (Requiem), along with the Dies irae, the modified psalm-tone at the Introit, and of course the use of Alleluia chant(s) in Masses outside of Lent.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • I find this to be hilarious that in the "land of options" of the OF, this is not one of them
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • How is that, as one acquaints themselves more with both forms of the Mass, the changes that created the Ordinary Form come more into question? I know this is not the case for everyone, but why would people create a form of the liturgy where "something is missing"?
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,318
    it is very interesting to see people more and more coming to their senses about the questionable practices of the new rites
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,075
    It wasn't that something was missing in the requiem. The thinking seems to have been that something foreign to the liturgy was added in Medieval times. Everything in the EF is not necessarily normative, with some things being accretions over time. There was a deliberate effort to remove some of those accretions and refocus the liturgy to emphasize the Resurrection of Christ. How well all that succeeded is up to individual interpretation.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 870
    the changes that created the Ordinary Form come more into question?


    Well some of those changes were cobbled together in a pub in Rome, so I would question how much wine was drunk before they invented the 2nd what ever it is called prayer?

    refocus the liturgy
    On the thoughts and ideas of the 1960's...?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,075
    It is what it is.
  • Liam
    Posts: 2,874
    "There was a deliberate effort to remove some of those accretions and refocus the liturgy to emphasize the Resurrection of Christ."

    Not quite - more about understanding that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not only a re-presentation of Calvary but of the whole Paschal Mystery (so, not just Good Friday, but also Holy Thursday and Easter, and in the latter case Emmaus figures notably, though it's not yet been picked up in art as it ought to have been) and also has a strong eschatological dimension as a foretaste of the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb. Neuzelle Abbey (Bavaria), a Baroque confection, has a tabernacle (sadly, it does not seem used as such) that speaks beautifully to Emmaus:

    http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/4f21fdc9a48749dd8ec28745f95396d9/neuzellekloster-groe-kirche-emmausgruppe-ard6f1.jpg
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 271
    Lovely tabernacle! It'd be even cooler if they had known that the disciples were probably husband and wife, signifying Adam and Eve in the new creation.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,075
    Beautiful tabernacle. I remember local priests talking about getting away from the darkness and morbidity of the requiem. This was after the council, of course. Being eastern, I didn't much care what they did, just witnessed it.

    An added note: In the late sixties, I played for a Catholic chapel at a state university. The pastor there mentioned how nice it was to get away from those dismal black vestments. He noted that he had seen a funeral in another rite where the priest met the casket with a lighted candle rather than a crucifix. He stated how that was more "resurrectional." I also remember the great joy with which the clergy threw out previous practices. Not so much the congregation, since I think they were often confused by the rapid rate of change.

    I work for a rather conservative parish that is regarded by most other parishes in town as backward and pre-Vatican II. We're not, but that is the perception. We still have a set of black vestments and are probably the only ones in town who have them. The former pastor would wear them on All Souls and other such days. The new pastor never wears them.
  • At Walsingham (I don't know if this is 'officially Ordinariate' or just Walsingham) it's black for All Souls and Good Friday. I've noticed black and white at funerals, so this may be a 'family choice' - I don't really know.

    I have very mixed feelings about presumptions and teachings about the next world. Purgatory and Hell are certainly real and not to be ignored or taken lightly. It seems to me, though, that there are those who live in utter fear of these, as if there were no hope that was trustworthy. Jesus certainly didn't carry on this way. He spoke much about the kingdom of heaven and not so much about the other place. Much of mediaeval spirituality was one of fear and dread rather than faith, hope, charity - and trust, and love. There really must be a balance. An awful lot of people seem to believe more in purgatory and hell than they do in heaven. This is neither realistic nor faithful in Christ, who went to a lot of trouble for us.

    Too, when it comes to the Marian anthems, there is no shortage of those who only know the Salve Regina. It is the weepiest and most depressing of any of them. The fervour and fearful tone with which people rather desparately beg for our Lord's mother to 'save us from the fires of hell' is totally opposite to our Lord's own emphasis, his own teachings for how to live our lives. We are not and cannot be 'save[d]... from the fires of hell' by our Lord's mother. He, himself, is our Saviour, and our 'only mediator and advocate' (St Paul). Veneration of the BVM is certainly due and to be encouraged, but this maudlin state of mind is not veneration, it is idolatry and faithless despair. No creature can save - only God. It is curious and noteworthy that the sole object of our prayers ever mentioned by Jesus is the Father, and asking of the Father in his name.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Vilyanor
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,075
    I agree, Jackson. We Easterners don't really believe in Purgatory to begin with. One of our treaties of reunion with Rome states that there is to be no discussion of Purgatory. It seems to be a Latin construct from when, the Scholastic period? Not sure about the dating. Heaven should get more attention than it does.

    Later addition: I looked up the date for the council at the link I am posting. It was around 1438 - 1445 or so. One can see the doctrinal differences between east and west, but some of the human interactions are a bit comical. Truly representative of flawed humanity.

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/stmark_purg.aspx

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,112
    The theology of the Paschal Mystery is implicit in the traditional rites as fas as the Mass goes, and textually, there are no more references heard by the ears of those worshipping in a normal setting, that of Sunday, festal, and occasional daily Mass in the new liturgy than the old. The Paschal Vigil is superior in the old rite than in anything that Bugnini created, and it is an example of what John Bossy in Christianity in the West calls sacrifice and sacrament. Once you begin to see just how rich, engaging, and 3D, literally and figuratively, traditional religion, to borrow from Duffy, is, you begin to become critical of reform. At the very least, you see how contradictory and inconsistent it becomes, e.g. In the 1956 Holy Thursday Mass, I can approve of the Agnus Dei text being restored, but it’s the only good change; it’s ancient, but so were the folded chasubles now excluded from Holy Week...
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 271
    Charles, it seems like a lot of nitpicking over the accidents of the same essential concept. And one that is rife that is philosophically confusing to start with. How can a "soul" undergo purgation apart from a body? Even the idea of the soul existing sans body is difficult. Catholics of East or West believe in the process of becoming able to enter the Heavenly banquet, and nitpicking over the aspects of something so metaphysical, which we have no experience and very little revelation to go on seems representative of flawed humanity, as you said. I don't say this accusatorially to either side, it just seems silly that there should even be such an argument.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,075
    Well it was 600-700 years ago. I am of the opinion that east and west should have gotten together and defeated Islam - a far bigger threat than theology.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Liam
    Posts: 2,874
    Well, it should be noted that basic elements of the Western understanding of Purgatory long predate the Scholastic era, far back to the middle of the Patristic era.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn