Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dies Irae

"(Lat., ‘Day of wrath’), the opening words, and hence the name, of the sequence in the Mass for the Dead in the W[estern] Church. It is now thought to go back to a rhymed prayer of late 12th-cent[ury] Benedictine origin. To this prayer, depicting the soul awaiting judgement, a Franciscan . . . has added a greater sense of urgency, reflecting the eschatological mood of the mid-13th cent[ury]. The first printed Missal containing it as the sequence for Requiem Masses is that of Venice, 1485. Until 1969 its use was obligatory. . . . It may now . . . be omitted. . . ."

     "Dies Irae" The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Ed. F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone.© Oxford University Press 2005. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church: (e-reference edition). Oxford University Press. Seattle Pacific University. 30 August 2012

     The sequence itself, as notated in The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians, 2nd ed., ed. Stanley Sadie (New York:  Grove Dictionaries Inc., 2001), s.v. "Dies Irae" (vol. 7, p. 332-333), by John Caldwell and Malcolm Boyd: