A Requiem Mass was typically a Roman Catholic Service of prayers for the dead, a practice which is unscriptural and expressly forbidden in scripture, by an angel of the Lord to the prophet Ezra, as recorded in II Esdras 7:102-105: see that text at the bottom of this webpage. BUT, if we scorn this meaningful Mass just because we reject prayers for the dead, then we throw out the baby with the bath water. Most of the text of the Mass is beautifully meaningful.

        Requiem Masses began in the early Middle Ages as monotone chants, but developed into musical compositions over the next few centuries until composers like Mozart worked it into a glorious expression of spiritual faith and a plaintive plea to our God to have mercy upon us when this world ends in fire and ashes, as foretold by David and an ancient prophetess, called a Sibyl, who prophesied from a three legged stool in a pit beneath the Temple of Apollo in Delphi Greece, several centuries before Jesus was born. The Sibyl, Daphne, had a wicked reputation, but on one occasion she foretold the coming of Jesus as the Savior. You can read about her and her prophecy here. The point I wish to make is that God's Presence and Voice has never been absent from His Family. He spoke through unexpected mouths, even during those centuries of Roman Catholic mother-goddess Paganism. It was during those terrible centuries that MANY Christians died as witnesses of Christ because their faith in Him was more important than their physical lives. Unlike the lukewarm religion of today, their trust in Him was REAL! Many simple people like Francis of Assissi found the truth in their hearts and devoted their lives to the true Christ in spite of the church. I think that the Requiem Mass was inspired by God and became greatly loved because of its deep worshipful nature. When you read the text of the Mass, you will see that the prayer is mainly for us who are to be saved at the end-time when the world will be dissolved in burning ashes. We are the "them" for whom we plead.

      That end-time has now arrived. The plaintive wail of the humble follower of Christ is expressed in this Mass which is a Prayer to a merciful and forgiving God, but, a God whose justice is terrifying to comprehend for those who know that their love of this worldly life has made them His enemies. The word "requiem" means "rest." While we languish in this hellish nightmare of World, we who love our Lord, plead for that heavenly REST where hate, violence, greed, lust, banksters, politicians, unjust laws, and wickedness will not torment us anymore.

       You can easily obtain Requiem CD's by Mozart, Verdi, Andrew Lloyd Weber, and many others. The music is very difficult for me to appreciate because composers seem to have competed in making the work extremely complex in order to express the worship through deep feelings. I suppose the composers assume that listeners know the words very well, so there was no need to make them intelligible. But, it is the words which I think are important to contemplate and appreciate. By reading them we can add our own energy to the feeling of those millions who have poured out their hearts to our Father in this meaningful prayer. Can you imagine how we might feel today if we could hear this Prayer in our language of English? Sadly, modern religion is too shallow for such rich expression. For us who don't speak Latin, it is not easy to feel the intensity of the Prayer. With the interlinear text below, perhaps you can follow along. Instead of praying for "them," substitute the word "us." It is time for us to go to our Rest, as described in Hebrews 4. (See text of Hebrews 4 at end of this page)



REQUIEM AETERNAM dona eis, Domine:

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

and let perpetual light shine upon them.


Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion,

A hymn is raised to You in Sion

et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem:

and a vow paid to You in Jerusalem:

EXAUDI orationem meam,

Hear my prayer,

ad te omnis caro veniet.

unto You all flesh shall come.


Requiem aeternam dona eis

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

and let perpetual light shine upon them.



KYRIE, eleison!

Lord, have mercy!

Christe, eleison!

Christ, have mercy!

Kyrie, eleison!

Lord, have mercy!


REQUIEM AETERNAM dona eis, Domine,

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

and perpetual light shine upon them.

In memoria aeterna erit iustus:

In eternal memory he shall be justified.

ab auditione mala non timebit.

and shall not fear evil reports.



(Prayer for the dead, contrary to scripture! See chap 7:102-105)

Absolve, Domine, animas omnium fidelium defunctorum ab omni vinculo delictorum.

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from all bonds of their sins.

Et gratia tua illis succurrente mereantur evadere judicium ultionis.

And by the help of Thy grace may they avoid the judgment of revenge.

Et lucis aeternae beatitudine perfrui.

And enjoy the happiness of eternal light.



DIES IRAE, dies illa,

Day of wrath, this day

Solvet saeclum in favilla:

shall dissolve the world in ashes,

Teste David cum Sibylla.

as foretold by David and the Sibyl.

Quantus tremor est futurus,

What trembling there shall be

Quando judex est venturus,

when the judge shall come

Cuncta stricte discussurus!

investigating everything strictly!


TUBA MIRUM spargens sonum,

The trumpet, blasting a wondrous sound

Per sepulcra regionum,

across the graves of all regions,

Coget omnes ante thronum.

summons all before the throne.


MORS STUPEBIT et natura,

Death and nature shall be stupified

Cum resurget creatura,

when mankind arises

Iudicanti responsura.

to answer to the Judge.


LIBER SCRIPTUS proferetur,

The written book shall be presented

In quo totum continetur,

in which all is contained

Unde mundus judicetur.

whereby the world shall be judged.

Iudex ergo cum sedebit,

When the Judge takes his seat

Quidquid latet apparebit:

all that was hidden shall appear

Nil inultum remanebit.

nothing will remain unpunished.


QUID SUM MISER tunc dicturus?

What shall I, a wretch, say then?

Quem patronum rogaturus?

To which patron shall I plead

Cum vix justus sit securus.

when even the just man is hardly secure?


REX TREMENDAE majestatus,

King of tremendous majesty,

Qui salvandos salvas gratis,

who freely savest those who must be saved,

Salva me, fons pietatis.

save me, fount of pity!



Remember, merciful Jesus,

Quod sum causa tuae viae:

that I am the reason for Your Life here,

Ne me perdas illa die.

do not lose me on that day.

Quaerens me, sedisti lassus:

Seeking me, You became weary,

Redemisti crucem passus:

You have saved me by suffering the cross,

Tantus labor non sit cassus.

let your labor not be in vain.

Iuste iudex ultionis,

Righteous judge of vengeance,

Donum fac remissionis,

grant Your gift of absolution

Ante diem rationis.

before the day of reckoning.


INGEMISCO, tanquam reus:

I groan, as the guilty one,

Culpa rubet vultus meus:

my face is red with guilt,

Supplicanti parce Deus.

O God, spare this supplicant!

Qui Mariam absolvisti,

You, who pardoned Mary

Et latronem exaudisti,

and heeded the thief,

Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

hast given me hope as well.

Preces meae non sunt dignae:

My prayers are not worthy,

Sed tu bonus fac benigne,

but grant through your good favor

Ne perenni cremer igne.

I may not burn in eternal fire.

Inter oves locum praesta,

Give me a place among the sheep

Et ab hoedis me sequestra,

and separate me from the goats,

Statuens in parte dextra.

setting me at Your right hand.


CONFUTATIS maledictis,

When the wicked are confuted

Flammis acribus addictis,

and consigned to burning flames,

Voca me cum benedictus.

call me to be with the blessed.

Oro supplex et acclinis,

Meekly and humbly I pray,

Cor contritum quasi cinis:

my heart contrite as ashes:

Gere curam mei finis.

Do heal me at the last


LACRIMOSA dies illa,

O this day of weeping,

Qua resurget ex favilla.

when from the ashes arises

Iudicandus homo reus:

the guilty man to be judged:

Huic ergo parce, Deus.

Therefore, spare him, O God.



PIE JESU Domine,

Sweet Lord Jesus,

Dona eis requiem. Amen.

Grant them rest. Amen.



(Prayer for the dead, contrary to scripture! See chap 7:102-105)

Domine Iesu Christe, Rex gloria,

Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory

libera animas omnium fedelium defunctorum

free the souls of all the faithful departed

de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu.

from infernal punishment and the deep pit

Libera eas de ore leonis,

Free them from the mouth of the lion;

ne absorbeat eas tartarus

do not let Tartarus swallow them

ne cadant in obscurum;

nor let them fall into darkness;

sed signifer sanctus Michael

but may the standard-bearer Saint Michael

repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam,

lead them into holy light

quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini eius.

which you once promised to Abraham and his seed.


Hostia et preces tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus;

Sacrifice and prayers, O Lord, we offer You with praise;

tu suscipe pro animabus illis,

accept them on behalf of those souls,

quarum hodie memoriam facimus.

whom we remember today.

Fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam.

Let them, O Lord, pass over from death to life

Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini eius.

as you once promised to Abraham and his seed.



SANCTUS, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts.

Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua, Hosanna in excelsis.

Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.  Hosanna to God in the highest,

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini,

Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. 



HOSANNA in excelsis.

Hosanna to God in the highest.

Benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in excelsis.

Hosanna in the highest.

Dies Irae, Dies illa,

Day of wrath, that Day,

Solvet saeclum in favilla

Dissolving the world into ashes,

Teste David cum Sibylla.

As foretold by David and the Sibyl.

Exaudi orationem meam;

Hear my prayer;

ad te omnis caro veniet.

to Thee all flesh shall come.



PIE JESU, dona eis requiem,

Sweet Jesus, grant them rest,

Pie Jesu, dona eis requiem,

Sweet Jesus, grant them rest,

Pie Jesu, dona eis requiem, sempiternam.

Sweet Jesus, grant them eternal rest.



AGNUS DEI, qui tollis pecatta mundi:

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

dona eis requiem.

grant them rest.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi:

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

dona eis requiem.

grant them rest.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

dona eis requiem sempiternam.

grant them eternal rest.



LUX AETERNA luceat eis Domine:

Let eternal light shine upon them, O Lord:

Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.

with Thy saints in eternity, for art merciful.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine,

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

and may light perpetual shine on them,

Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum:

with Thy saints for evermore,

quia pius es.

because Thou art merciful.



LIBERA ME, Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda:

Deliver me, O Lord, from everlasting death on that dread day:

Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra:

when the heavens and earth shall quake:

Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.

when thou shalt come to judge the world to come.

Tremens factus sum ego et timeo, dum discussion venerit atque venture ira.

I am seized with trembling and I am afraid until the day of reckoning shall arrive and the wrath to come.

Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.

when the heavens and earth shall quake.

Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde.

That day, that day of wrath, of calamity and misery, a great day and exceeding bitter.

Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.

when Thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine:

Lord, grant them eternal rest:

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

Kyrie eleison.

Lord, have mercy!

Christe eleison.

Christ, have mercy!

Kyrie eleision.

Lord, have mercy!

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine:

Lord, grant them eternal rest:

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

Requiescat in pace.  Amen.

Let them rest in peace.  Amen



This page, compiled by Roger Hathaway, is not definitive regarding the Requiem Mass. The lyrics, arrangement, and music vary slightly with different composers.


Text of II Esdras 7:102-105 (prohibiting prayers for the dead)  This book of II Esdras was included in the Bible until it was excluded at the Roman Catholic Council of Trent in mid 16th Century, only 450 years ago. The Protestant religionists have never defended this book which is, in my opinion, of equal stature with John's Revelation and the letter to the Hebrews. In the following text, speaking to Ezra is an angel whom Ezra addresses as "O Sovereign Lord" several times in this chapter 7. Verse 102 begins with Ezra speaking to the messenger:


7:102 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, show further to me, your servant, whether on the day of judgment the righteous will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them--103fathers for sons or sons for parents, brothers for brothers, relatives for their kindred, or friends for those who are most dear."

104He answered me and said, "Since you have found favor in my sight, I will show you this also. The day of judgment is decisive and displays to all the seal of truth. Just as now a father does not send his son, or a son his father, or a master his servant, or a friend his dearest friend, to be ill or sleep or eat or be healed in his place, 105so no one shall ever pray for another on that day, neither shall anyone lay a burden on another; for then all shall bear their own righteousness and unrighteousness."


Text of Hebrews 4:

4:1 So, since a promise remains of entering into his rest, we may fear lest anyone of you seems to have come short of it. 2Indeed, we also are having good news proclaimed to us, even as they, but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard. 3We who believe do enter into the rest, just as he said: "As I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest," though the works came into being from the foundation of the world. 4For he has said somewhere concerning the seventh day, thus: "And God rested in the seventh day from all his works," 5and in this place again, "They shall not enter into my rest." 6So, since it remains for some to enter into it, and the former ones, who had good news preached to them, did not enter because of disobedience, 7he again appoints a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as he has previously said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

4:8 If Joshua had given them rest, then he would not have spoken about another day concerning these things. 9Then a sabbath-rest remains for the people of God. 10For one who has entered into his rest, has also himself rested from his works, as God did from his. 11So, let us hasten to enter into that rest, lest anyone makes of himself an example of obstinacy. 12For the word of God is living and operative and sharper beyond every two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrows, and able to judge thoughts and intentions of a heart; 13and there is no creature concealed before him, but all things are naked and have been laid open to his eyes, with whom we must account. 14Having therefore a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15We donít have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but has been tempted in all respects like us, without sin himself. 16So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, in order that we may receive mercy and grace, for timely help.

The day of REST is that kingdom of God to which we soon go. The Big Picture of long term history, according to our Bible, consists of six Days (= six ages of 2,000 years each) and then the 7th Day of Heaven (the REST). It is that REST for which we pray in the Requiem Mass!


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