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Dies irae

Dies irae (dē´ās ē´rā) [Lat.,=day of wrath], hymn of the Roman Catholic Church. A part of the Requiem Mass, it is a powerful description of the Judgment and a prayer to Jesus for mercy. Suggested in part by Zeph. 1.14–16, it was probably written by Thomas of Celano. In 16th-century polyphonic masses it was usually sung to the plain-song melody, but there are a few isolated examples of new music combined with the old melody in masses by minor composers. More recently, it has usually been supplied with new, and frequently intensely dramatic, music, notably by Mozart, Berlioz, and Verdi. It is no longer in general use in Roman Catholic funeral liturgy.

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Dies Irae

Dies Irae (Lat., ‘day of wrath’). Opening words of the sequence in the Catholic mass for the dead. Composed in the 13th cent., it first appeared in a printed missal in 1485. Until 1969 it was obligatory also on All Souls' Day (2 Nov.).

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