Why was the Dies Irae sequence removed?

I understand it was chopped out of the funeral liturgy of the ordinary form (I think it’s in the 1962 missal? Is this correct?)

Why was it removed?

I’ve wondered this as well. What I usually hear is “well, it’s all dark and gloomy and focuses too much on the Last Judgment”.

I think the text of the Dies Irae is quite powerful, and it should have stayed. I would be quite willing to have it as part of my funeral.

Is there any hope of its restoration to ordinary form?

In 1970, the Dies Iræ was removed from the Missal and since 1971 has been proposed ad libitum as a hymn for the Liturgy of the Hours at the Office of Readings, Lauds and Vespers. For this purpose stanza 19 was deleted and the poem divided into three sections: 1–6 (for the Office of Readings), 7–12 (for Lauds) and 13–18 (for Vespers). In addition Qui Mariam absolvisti in stanza 13 was replaced by Peccatricem qui solvisti so that that line would now mean, “You who freed/absolved the sinful woman”. In addition a doxology is given after stanzas 6, 12 and 18:[3]


My feeling it was removed because of the possibility of Hell connotation. There have been several Requiems that are no longer played as well.

It will be back after the collapse of the ‘don’t worry, be happy’ civilization.

Yes. We shall fear god, and worry about our future.

Interestingly our choir chanted at a OF funeral last Saturday and the deceased’s last wishes included chanting the Dies Irae at his funeral. So we did it. Hauntingly beautiful, deep and powerful.

Interesting tidbit, the Dies Irae hasn’t been lost altogether in the post-Vatican II Church: it is now the hymn for the 34th week of Ordinary Time in the Latin Liturgy of the Hours. It was split into three, with two new doxologies added (and a few other minor changes); the first part is chanted at Vigils, the second at Lauds and the third at Vespers.