Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Requiem aeternam (part II)

Requiem High Mass of All Souls Day at St Thomas's, Huron Street.

Mass was celebrated ad orientem in black vestments according to the Book of Common Prayer (1962) with Fauré's setting. The black high mass set at St T's dates back to the requiem offered in 1917 for the dead of the First World War. There was no gradual, but there was a tract (to plainsong). The Dies Irae was, to my regret, not sung. The Lesson was read, but the Gospel was chanted. We then sang "Christ enthroned in highest heaven" (Ad perennis vitae fontem) as a collection was taken. The bell was tolled during the Solemn Remembrance of the Departed. I had a moistened eye as Fr Warren Eling, whose heart-rending story was made into an episode of Canadian Case Files, was named. (He was also remembered at the requiem I attended on Saturday, post passim).

A BAS prayer over the gifts was interpolated. The Communion Hymn was "The King of love my shepherd is" (St Columba). The ceremonies at the catafalque concluded the Mass. Though the leaflet promised (as last year) that the Kontakion of the Dead would be included, it was not (as last year). We did not, I regret, sing "Let saints on earth in concert sing" as we did last year.

It was a very moving liturgy, and is one of the highlights of the Christian Year for me, along with the other distinctively Catholic feasts of Corpus Christi and the Visitation. It was good to be back at St T's, especially for so reverent and inspiring a Mass.


Felicity Pickup said...

Thank you very much for the link to the Warren Eling item! I had been so out-of-touch that I had heard nothing about him since the first newspaper item reporting the finding of his corpse. I did think of his death as a sad loss, but didn't realise that there had been more to follow.

Anonymous said...

Sounds glorious! I was only able to attend a Latin Low Mass this year.