Requiem. Resonanzen katholischer Totenliturgie in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart

  • Thomas Quartier
Keywords: Funeral-liturgy, liturgical music, death, Requiem, resonance


Liturgical music at Roman-Catholic funerals has a very diverse character in contemporary Western society, especially in a strongly secularized country like the Netherlands. The spectrum covers the favorite music of the deceased as well as traditional chants. But how is it possible that people still frequently opt for the Requiem, even outside the classical liturgical context? In this article, we explore the concepts of experience and meaning with regard to the Requiemmass. Which kind of experience belongs to this type of liturgical chant? And which meaning is ascribed to it? Using the resonance-theory of Hartmut Rosa, we distinguish a liturgical horizontal dimension (shared experience) and a vertical dimension (religious meaning). Diagonal resonance refers to the liturgical elements of singing. By referring to striking examples from the history of Christian worship, we show that experience and meaning of liturgical chant always depended on its context. It changed; meaning differed from experience and covered it again. For contemporary liturgical practice it would therefore be too simple to only speak about an experiential dimension of the Requiem and no longer about its meaning. The aim must be to combine a personalized meaning with the tradition of ecclesial liturgy.