How long is a traditional Requiem Mass?

Hello all,

I’m fairly new at participating in the EF Mass. I want to attend an upcoming Requiem Mass at the Shrine of Christ the King, but I’d like to know how long they generally last, so I can tell my husband when I’ll be home.

A TLM Requiem Mass is about half an hour if it is low, 40 minutes if sung and an hour if Solemn; these time periods do not count absolution which could be approximately 15 minutes.

Requiem Masses are shorter because the procession to the altar is short (no organ). Psalm 42 is not recited; No Gloria; No exchange of peace; all in all it is a very simple but sublime Mass.

It greatly depends. Requiem Masses can range in solemnity from Low Mass said by a priest with one server without the body present to Solemn High Pontifical Requiem Mass at the throne sung by the Metropolitan Archbishop in the cathedral with the chapter of canons participating, with a huge professional choir and full orchestra singing a famous polyphonic requiem, with the Five Absolutions afterwards with the body present. So tell us, is it a Low Mass? Solemn High Mass? Missa Cantata? Celebrated by a bishop? A priest? Will there be a choir? Will they sing polyphony or chant? Will the body be present? These all can affect the length. Please tell us.

Thanks to both of you. Here is the information from the website:

Tuesday, November 8
7:00pm Requiem High Mass for our faithful departed. Members of Chicago Chorale sing T. L. Victoria’s Requiem

So it sounds like it’s a High Mass but not a Solemn High Mass . . . which means it should last about 40-60 minutes?

It also depends on the length of the homily and the number of communicants. The one IRCSS had on EWTN (in 2008) was a Solemn High Requiem Mass, and it lasted about an hour and a half.

take care,
amsjj :slight_smile:

Jesus, God and man,
imprisoned by love in Thy most holy Sacrament,
have mercy upon us.
– Blessed John Henry Newman, December 22, 1851

Tú y yo sabemos por la fe que oculto en las especies sacramentales está Cristo,
ese Cristo con su Cuerpo, con su Sangre, con su Alma, y con su Divinidad,
prisonero de amor.
– San Josemaría Escrivá, 1 junio 1974

When they say “High Mass,” that makes it hard to tell. It could be either a Missa Cantata (one priest) or a Solemn High Mass (priest, deacon, and subdeacon).

Victoria’s Requiem is a polyphonic Mass. Look it up on YouTube.

Not to complain, but I wish there was an occasional Requiem Mass near me in the EF! Only a weekly Missa Cantata. But I digress.

Amsjj and JGMendes, I think you’re right . . . it probably is a Solemn High Mass. Still, I think being away for an hour and a half should be fine with my family.

Polyphony, eh? I prefer Gregorian chant to this newfangled “polyphony.” :wink:

However long it is, it should be sublime. Victoria’s requiem is, IMHO, one of the most beautiful and moving of all. At Westminster Cathedral last week it lasted an hour but I think they missed one of the movements. I would allow 1hr 20 mins to be on the safe side.

like any other Mass, perhaps a few more minutes if the funeral home people are late, or for the prayers and blessings over the casket before and after Mass.

The OP said the Mass would be for “our faithful departed,” which would make it not a funeral Mass, so no body, so no pesky funeral home people. :stuck_out_tongue:

You can have an empty coffin, with names etc of friends, relatives etc, used instead of a body, that’s the tradition anyway at my home parish (which unfortunately i wont be there this year) for our Remembrance Sunday, ‘Solemn Requiem Mass’, which by the way allow an hour an a half for, it generally doesn’t last that long, but it can do with many things affecting whether it does or not.

so is that a requiem Mass in the traditional sense? also not clear is this primarily a Mass or primarily a choral presentation.

The recent EF Requiem Mass I went to lasted about 1.5 hours in total. It was for All Souls Day, and I know a few things were not done but there were extra things done with some of the prayers and extra ones normally not done. It was a Solemn High Mass too.

also not clear is this primarily a Mass or primarily a choral presentation.

Yep, it was a full Mass with communion. Basically, it was like a funeral Mass, but for all the faithful departed instead of one person–complete with an empty coffin draped in black. Most of the Mass music was Victoria’s, but the Dies Irae was Gregorian chant.

Thanks for all the responses. It did end up being about an hour and a half, so I’m glad I budgeted enough time.

This Mass put the fear of God in me. I don’t meditate on the afterlife–and on the eternal consequences of choices in this life–often enough.

Was it a Missa Cantata (one priest) or a Solemn High Mass (priest, deacon, and subdeacon)?

Glad you liked it.