Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Cathedral to offer music of Tavener for All Souls Mass

Published October 19, 2017

ATLANTA—The Cathedral of Christ the King will have Mass for the Feast of All Souls on Thursday, Nov. 2. The Mass, featuring the chants of the Requiem Mass and the music of Sir John Tavener, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Cathedral is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta.

Msgr. Francis McNamee, cathedral rector, will be the celebrant for the Mass. Organist Timothy Wissler will accompany the choir.

Like many of the great Requiem Masses by such composers as Faure and Durufle, Tavener’s music evokes the simple and austere nature of the liturgical celebration.

The death registry is displayed at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta.

Tavener, who died in 2013, was among the most commercially successful of modern composers, perhaps best known for music used at the funeral of Princess Diana. His musical language and its connection to spiritual themes culminated in his conversion to the Russian Orthodox faith in 1977.

The Mass for the Dead is one of the most beautiful in the Roman Missal and is of ancient origin. In pre-apostolic times the Jews prayed that the immortal souls of the just might have requiem aeternam or rest eternal.

St. Odilo, fourth abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Cluny, instituted All Souls Day, the feast for the commemoration of the dead in 998. The texts of the Mass continue as vital, living expressions of consolation for the present and hope for the future.

This annual Mass is celebrated with the reverence befitting the occasion. One of the most moving symbols, used in the procession, is the Cathedral’s death registry, dating from 1936 to the present. This “Book of the Dead” contains the names of all who have been buried from the parish since the Cathedral’s dedication.

The prayers and music for the liturgy are filled with images of eternal rest and perpetual light, and ask more than mere reflection on past losses. They encourage all to bring to the present people who are loved and known; to acknowledge their continuing presence and to pray for them in the present and future.

For more information about the Cathedral’s All Souls Mass, call 404-233-2145, ext. 693.