Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry, will celebrate a special 1916 Requiem Mass this Sunday 6 November at 12 noon in Knock Basilica.
‘Marbhna’, the Requiem Mass setting composed by Odhran O’Casaide, is a solemn expression of commemoration for all those who died in 1916 and which will feature the voice of Sibéal Ní Casaide. ‘Marbhna’ sets out to explore the beauty of sean nós voice, together with chamber choir and orchestra, classical solo voices, as well as traditional and early music instruments. The blend of Irish and classical music reflects two great musical traditions in Ireland at the time of the Rising. The Requiem Mass also features the first orchestral setting of ‘Dies Irae’ in the Irish language.
A special feature of the Requiem Mass is the setting of Patrick Pearse’s poem ‘Fornocht de Chonac Thú’. In this poem, he turns his back on the beauty of the world and sets about his task which he predicts will lead to his demise. The poem was composed in 1912, three years before the Rising, and is very similar in style to that of the great eighteenth-century Irish poets. The poem is followed by ‘Caoine nbPáistí’, a lament specially written to commemorate all the children who died in the Rising.
The inaugural performance of the Marbhna setting took place in Dublin City Hall in January and was attended by President Michael D Higgins and guests from political and cultural traditions. It was performed and recorded by TG4 for an audience that included the Lord Mayor of Dublin and members of the Diplomatic Corps in March.
All are welcome to attend this special Requiem Mass. For more information on Marbhna, please visit www.knockshrine.ie.