Friday, April 28, 2017

Requiem (De Montfort Music)

There is an international community of young priests called The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (or The Fraternity for short) is a traditionalist Catholic society of apostolic life, which is composed of both priests and seminarians. They are headquartered in Switzerland and maintain two international seminaries. The Fraternity has been made famous by the Requiem chants that people have heard at Funeral Masses over the years. Knowing how universal the experience of death is, they decided to make their major-label debut with De Montfort Music/Sony Classical an album simply titled Requiem. It is entitled such, because it contains the music for the Requiem Mass, which was one of the most frequently celebrated Masses of the Medieval Period.

In this album, you will find twenty tracks, which include the recognizable Kyrie eleison, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and some that you won't recognize unless you are well-versed in Gregorian chant. Not all are sung in the Requiem Mass. Some are sung in the Office of Dead, which is a service of prayers for the dead that happen beside the coffin, before burial. For example, you you will here several different antiphons, responsories, and sequences, which relate to various aspects/subjects of death and dying. The chants speak on Lazarus, our sinful nature, judgment, and delivering us from eternal death into His eternal rest in Paradise.

The chant performed on this album is hauntingly beautiful. Listening to the music makes you completely stop what you are doing, as it is not the type of album you casually listen to while doing other things. Instead, you slow down, stop what you are doing, and begin to look deep within yourself, reflecting on your own mortality. This isn't something you want to do often, because it can be taxing, but it is something that you should do with some sort of regularity. The album is releasing May 12, 2017, but I invite you to pre-order a copy now. In the meantime, check out the video below for a little bit of background on The Fraternity, the album, and to hear a little bit of the music.