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Dies irae

[Latin, day of wrath]

A principal movement in the Requiem Mass and a Gregorian Chant attributed to friar Thomas of Celano (d. ca. 1255), friend and biographer of St. Francis of Assisi (Liber usual is). The chant originated from the responsory used at the absolution at the conclusion of the "Mass for the Dead." The text is taken from the prophet Zephaniah. The Dies irae sequence was removed from the Requiem Mass in 1972 because the frightening account of the Last Judgement was no longer appropriate to the theology of the time. 

Dies Irae
Original Text

Dies irae, dies illa,
dies tribulationis et angustiane,
dies calamitatis et miseriae,
dies tenebarum et caliginis,
dies nebulae et turbinis,
dies tubae et clangoris
super civitas munitas
et super angulos excelsos.
(Sophonias [or Zephaniah] 1, 14-15)

A day of wrath, that day,
a day of distress and agony,
a day of ruin and of devastation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and think darkness,
a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
against fortified town 
and high corner-tower.
(The Jerusalem Bible, p. 1521)


Last Updated: 2013-04-30 22:43:46