It has been a couple of days of thinking ‘Requiems’. After mentioning the Faure Requiem yesterday I remembered too the great Mozart Requiem (you might recall the movie Amadeus (albeit historically inaccurate?). Then online I found this great youtube clip which shows the four-part-notation (for voice) that (when followed to the note) produces the glorious harmony of voices.
And then the beauty and simplicity of the Gregorian Requiem, still sung in our diocese at priests’ funerals.
Both are beautiful. While the Mozart is accessible only to a skilled group of singers, the simple Gregorian melody is easily sung by an average Sunday congregation who are prepared to practice a bit with the youtube aid above. Note that the congregation is only required to sing the antiphon with choir or cantor singing the verse. Don’t be frightened by the Gregorian notation. While it is strange at first, especially for those who have some musical training, it is actually easier for a congregation of musical novices to follow. A ten minute training session is enough to get started.
Let me know if your parish or school is willing to attempt this. I am happy to encourage you!