Monday, November 2, 2009

St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral on Sunday, November 1st at 5:00 p.m. presented a truly uplifting musical and liturgical experience. St. Stephen’s Choir, combined with the Choir of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, sang the Requiem, Op. 9 by French composer Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986), within the context of an authentic Requiem Mass for All Souls’ Day (November 2nd, transferred to November 1st). On this day, we remember in prayer all those who have died and pray for God’s comfort for all who mourn the passing of loved ones.

We are truly privileged that the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, the Right Reverend Paul Marshall, was with us as Celebrant and Preacher for this extraordinary event. Also participating was the Reverend Canon George Loeffler, Deacon and Chaplain to Bishop Marshall, and the Reverend Daniel Cube Gunn, Rector of St. Stephen’s.

The combined choirs from Nativity Cathedral and St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral were conducted by Canon Russell Jackson, Organist and Choirmaster at Nativity. Canon Mark Laubach accompanying the choirs at the organ. Soloists were Carol Tome, mezzo-soprano, and Charles Unice, baritone. Also joined by Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida, violoncello.

Maurice Duruflé’s exquisite setting of the Requiem utilizes the traditional plainsong melodies, set amid lush harmonies and sonorities. It takes a well earned place of honor with other fabled musical settings of the Requiem mass by Verdi, Mozart, Berlioz, and Fauré.

Canon Mark Laubach, Organist & Choirmaster

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

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