Requiem for Pope Benedict XVI

It was our solemn privilege to sing a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the 7th January at St James in Coatbridge, for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict XVI. Fr Denney gave a moving homily which focused on the hope that is to be found in Christ, even when it seems that there is no consolation left, as expressed in the Pontiff’s second encyclical.

In addition to the sacred chant the liturgy was preceded by an organ arrangement of the Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem Mass. This work was the first concert performance that Joseph Ratzinger attended, sparking a lifelong love of music, particularly that of Mozart.

The organ postlude was J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Minor BWV 549, another favourite composer from his native land. The prelude begins with a strikingly solemn solo figure in the pedals before opening out into a robust sequence of imitation, suspensions, dissonances and resolutions. The fugue subject creates an immediate momentum through the twists and turns of the piece and after a quasi- cadenza ends on a bright C Major chord, each voice finally coming to rest. Perhaps the prayerful imagination could see in this piece, the journey of the soul of that solo voice traveling through the the tumult of this life and through the purification of purgatory before coming to rest in the joy of the beatific vision.

Photos by Sancta Familia Media

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