All Souls Requiem Mass will include traditional chants by Orison
St. John’s Cathedral will observe the Feast of All Faithful Departed on Monday, November 2nd. This feast, traditionally known as All Souls Day, is a partner to the more familiar Feast of All Saints on November 1st. Traditionally, the Church begins by celebrating the lives of those who have gone before us and serve as an example by which we model our Christian pilgrimage. This festival is followed by a somber reflection on all those who have passed from this life to the next. The All Souls Day service is styled as a burial service, a funeral, or in Latin, a Requiem. We hold a symbolic memorial service for all people who have ended their earthly journey and who now rest eternal in the light of Christ. Our service will take the form of the burial service with traditional chants provided by the Knoxville men’s ensemble Orison. Many of the chants for this service are among the most easily recognizable melodies of Gregorian chant, none more familiar that the famous hymn “Dies irae.” This tune, used in countless Requiem oratorios as well as orchestral works by Berlioz, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, and others, is a famous telling of the perils of death, yet it also promises rest and salvation. Orison will also sing selections from the first known polyphonic (multi-voice) setting of the funeral service, music by 15th-century Belgian composer Johannes Ockeghem. The service builds to the moving rite of the catafalque, in which the names of loved ones from the congregation are placed in a symbolic casket as we pray for their eternal rest. Please join us for the joy of All Saints Day on Sunday morning and the solemnity of All Souls Day on Monday evening at 8:00.