I wish i could record all the masses i sing for at my church. In some way this would help me to preserve memories of the two beautiful years i am spending here, and do not know what will happen after that. For All Souls last night, we had a solemn high mass in the extraordinary form complete with a fake casket (catafaulk?) and we sang Victoria's 6 voice "Officium defunctorum": the introit, kyrie, santus, agnus dei, and communion antiphon. The rest of the antiphons and chants were sung to the regular chant by the 7 men present. We had a 11 people to sing it! Words can't even come close to describing the experience of a requiem high mass in the EF. My mind cannot comprehend how such a beautiful, exquisite expression of mourning for the deceased, praying for them, and the constant hope underlying all of it could just be forgotten by the majority of the Catholic Church. I would not want to be buried to anything else. I would want to know that people are going to the mass to pray for my soul, not "celebrate my life". I'll need all the prayers i can get! And a requiem mass with out the chants just seems so incomplete. I have heard a requiem low and high mass in the EF, and the high mass is just so much more uplifting and... i don't even know how to describe it.
May many priests take the initiative to bring back the solemnity of a requiem mass and the understanding of praying for the deceased and supporting those who are grieving in the most appropriate manner, by mourning with them, but also providing them with hope through Christ. I have read many accounts of priests who have started to return to purple or black vestments for all souls and funeral masses, and have not received any negative comments from anyone. May the chant of the texts also return, for without it, the requiem mass has lost SO much.