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April 9, 2005

A cappella prominent at Pope's funeral

As an important element of catholic liturgical music a cappella singing was an integral part of the requiem mass at the Pope's funeral. The 2-hour Mass began with the Vatican's Sistine Choir singing the Gregorian chant, "Grant Him Eternal Rest, O Lord. The choir sung Palestrina's mass, as earlier generations of choristers had done at other papal funerals for centuries; the mournful, repetitious incantation of the Litany of the Saints asking "All the saints, patriarchs, and prophets," and "Saint Mary comfort of the Roman people". The Eastern tradition of the catholic liturgical music was represented by the Greek Choir who sang "Christ Is Risen From The Dead".

The Mass ended with cardinals, dignitaries and pilgrims standing and singing: "May the angels accompany you into heaven, may the martyrs welcome you when you arrive, and lead you to Holy Jerusalem. Then the 150-member Mater Ecclesiae choir sang the Magnificat as the coffin was borne away from the altar towards the crypt inside St Peter's.

Posted by acapnews at April 9, 2005 12:00 AM