Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Cathedral To Sing Duruflé’s ‘Requiem’

Published October 27, 2011

On Wed., Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m., an All Souls’ Day Mass will be celebrated featuring music from Maurice Duruflé’s “Requiem.” All are invited to attend.

Mass will be celebrated by Father Frank McNamee, the Cathedral rector, with special musical support by the Cathedral Choir of Christ the King. The choir will be joined by cellist Charae Kruger, and the work’s organ accompaniment will be played by Timothy Wissler.

Duruflé, a French composer and organist, was born in 1902 and received his early musical training at the cathedral in Rouen, where there was a famous school of Gregorian chant. Many of his works, including the music for his “Requiem,” use well-known traditional plainsong chant themes as inspiration. Duruflé took these melodies and supported them with his own lush harmonies, creating a work of timeless beauty. He also took great care to intertwine the music he had created with the sacred liturgy. The “Requiem,” dedicated to the memory of the composer’s father, is considered to be Duruflé’s greatest work and is a testament of faith, comfort and tranquility.

Cathedral choirmaster Kevin Culver noted, “This Requiem setting is significantly different from that of the earlier grand settings of the Mass by Berlioz and Verdi. Its quiet and gentle tone and approach reflects a gentler vision of the texts.”

The All Souls’ Day Mass at the Cathedral is devoted to all those who have passed away in the last year. One of the moving symbols used in procession during the Mass is the Cathedral’s death registry. This book contains the names of all the people who have been buried from the Cathedral since its dedication in 1936.

The prayers and music for this special liturgy are filled with images of eternal rest and perpetual light, and ask more of participants than mere reflection on past losses. They encourage attendees to bring to the present those they have loved and known, to acknowledge their continuing presence in their lives, to pray for them not in the past tense, but in the present and future tenses.

The Cathedral of Christ the King is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta. Parking is available. For more information call (404) 233-2145, extension 820.