We'll be offering special music during our March 5th Lenten worship service. A vocalist will perform "Pie Jesu." So what is this tune, anyway?
First off, it has nothing to do with dessert. The title is Latin and pronounced, "PEE-ay YAY-zu" (Pious Jesus). It's part of the liturgy for the Requiem Mass of the Catholic Church.
A Requiem Mass is a church service for the repose of the soul. It's usually celebrated to mark the passing of a person. In our faith tradition, we'd call it a memorial service.
The original text of "Pie Jesu" reads:
Pie Jesu Domine, Dona is requeim
(Pious Lord Jesus, give them rest)
Pie Jesu Domine, Dona is requeim sempiternam
(Pious Lord Jesus, give them everlasting rest)
Several composers have included "Pie Jesu" in their settings of the Requiem Mass. So there's more than one tune associated with this text. Luigi Cherubini and Antonin Dvorak used it, for example.
Gabriel Fauré's setting from his 1890 Requiem is the most famous. And it's also the most performed worldwide.
But there are two modern contenders. John Rutter is one of the most popular choral composers of the late 20th Century. His setting from his 1985 Requeim is a favorite among church choirs.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu" has even wider exposure. Lloyd Webber's Requiem also premiered in 1985. The "Pie Jesu" was a breakout hit. It's been recorded and performed by classical vocalists, Broadway singers, and pop stars.
Which setting will you hear at worship this Sunday? You'll have to discover that for yourself.
Worship begins at 10 am, Sunday morning.
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