Published October 19, 2018
ATLANTA—The feast of All Souls is Nov. 2, and November is a month traditionally dedicated to remembering our ancestors and loved ones who have died. The Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, will offer its moving remembrance of All Souls in a special liturgy.
On Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m., an All Souls’ Day Mass will be celebrated featuring the music of Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem.”
The Mass will be celebrated by Cathedral Rector Monsignor Francis McNamee with the Cathedral Choir accompanied by a chamber orchestra of harp and strings and organist Timothy Wissler.
Fauré’s “Requiem,” composed in 1888, was significantly different from that of two well known grand settings of the liturgy by Berlioz and Verdi. For the major portion of his life, the composer served as a church organist, many of them at La Madeleine, one of Paris’ largest churches.
The Missa Pro Defunctis (Mass for the Dead) is one of the most beautiful and expressive 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.”
All Souls’ Day, the feast for the commemoration of the dead, was instituted by Saint Odilo, fourth abbot of the famous Benedictine monastery at Cluny, in 998. The texts of the Mass, though ancient, continue as vital, living expressions of consolation for the present and hope for the future.
This annual Mass is celebrated with all the reverence befitting the occasion. One of the moving symbols, used in procession during the Mass, is the Cathedral’s Death Registry, dating from 1936 to the present. This “Book of the Dead” contains the names of all people who have been buried from Christ the King since the Cathedral’s dedication.
The prayers and music for this liturgy are filled with images of eternal rest and light, and ask more of us than mere reflection on past losses. They encourage us to bring to the present those we have loved and known; to acknowledge their continuing presence in our lives; to pray for them not in the past tense, but in the present and future tenses. The entire diocesan family is encouraged to attend this profound liturgy.
For more information on the Mass, call 404-233-2145, ext. 693.