Rorate Caeli

Concluding the Month of the Holy Souls and the Liturgical Year
- The Jean Gilles Requiem (Audio Suggestion)

Jean-Philippe Rameau indicated that his Requiem Mass was to be celebrated with the setting composed by Jean Gilles in 1696, and to take place at the Oratory of the Louvre. The Mass was celebrated on September 27, 1764. (Jean Gilles' setting for the messe des morts would also be used at the main funeral mass for Louis XV, ten years later.)

Unfortunately, with the Revolution, like several French churches, the Oratoire du Louvre was confiscated and given to the Reformed - and, not long afterwards, many of Congregation's priests were murdered (15 priests of the Oratory were guillotined or died in prison) or expelled. It was never returned to the Church, and it remains a publicly-owned Protestant-run building to this day.

As the month especially dedicated to prayers for the souls of our Brothers and Sisters in Purgatory comes to an end, in the year of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the death of Rameau, and the last day of the Liturgical Year, we recall all souls with this stunningly beautiful 1956 recording of the Gilles Requiem. (And for communities with the resources to celebrate great works of music in Masses for All Souls, consider the Jean Gilles Requiem as one of next year's options.)