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Music at the National Shrine

This weekend has been very busy at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, with All Saints Day on Saturday and All Souls Day today. Except for individual funerals, the words of the Requiem Mass are proper only to the feast of All Souls, November 2, contrary to the common programming of Requiem Masses on Good Friday or Palm Sunday (Jesus does not need a Requiem Mass) or All Saints Day, November 1 (the saints in heaven do not need a Requiem Mass). At the National Shrine, the choir performed extensive excerpts from the Requiem Mass and the Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré at the solemn noon Mass.

The future repertoire at the Shrine will include, notably, performances of music by Ned Rorem (see my October 23 post on celebrations of Rorem's 80th birthday). We will perform the first of the Three Motets (1973), "O Deus Ego Amo Te" (text, O God I Love Thee, by Gerard Manley Hopkins) at the Mass for the American Catholic Bishops on November 10 and the wild, powerful Praise the Lord, My Soul (1982, text from Psalm 146) on the feast of Christ the King, November 23.

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