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Mozart's Requiem - Structure and Translation

Updated on September 25, 2010

Requiem Structure

  • I. Introitus: Requiem aeternam (choir and soprano solo)
  • II. Kyrie eleison (choir)
  • III. Sequentia (text based on sections of the Dies Irae):
    • Dies irae (choir)
    • Tuba mirum (soprano, contralto, tenor and bass solo)
    • Rex tremendae majestatis (choir)
    • Recordare, Jesu pie (soprano, contralto, tenor and bass solo)
    • Confutatis maledictis (choir)
    • Lacrimosa dies illa (choir)
  • IV. Offertorium:
    • Domine Jesu Christe (choir with solo quartet)
    • Versus: Hostias et preces (choir)
  • V. Sanctus:
    • Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth (choir)
    • Benedictus (solo quartet, then choir)
  • VI. Agnus Dei (choir)
  • VII. Communio:
    • Lux aeterna (soprano solo and choir)

I. Introitus: Requiem aeternam

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
The decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam,
ad the omnis care veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.
You are praised, God, in Zion,
and homage will be paid to You in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer,
to You all flesh will come.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.

II. Kyrie eleison

Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

III. Sequentia

1. Dies irae

Dies irae, dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando judex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!

Day of wrath, day of anger
will dissolve the world in ashes,
as foretold by David and the Sibyl.
Great trembling there will be
when the Judge descends from heaven
to examine all things closely.

2. Tuba mirum

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.

The trumpet will send its wondrous sound
throughout earth's sepulchres
and gather all before the throne.

Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
judicanti responsura.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.

Death and nature will be astounded,
when all creation rises again,
to answer the judgement.
A book will be brought forth,
in which all will be written,
by which the world will be judged.


Judex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet, apparebit,
nil inultum remanebit.

When the judge takes his place,
what is hidden will be revealed,
nothing will remain unavenged.


Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus,
cum vix justus sit securus?

What shall a wretch like me say?
Who shall intercede for me,
when the just ones need mercy?

3. Rex tremendae

Rex tremendae majestatis,
qui salvandos savas gratis,
salve me, fons pietatis.

King of tremendous majesty,
who freely saves those worthy ones,
save me, source of mercy.

4. Recordare

Recordare, Jesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae;
ne me perdas illa die.

Remember, kind Jesus,
my salvation caused your suffering;
do not forsake me on that day.


Quaerens me, sedisti lassus,
redemisti crucem passus;
tantus labor non sit cassus.

Faint and weary you have sought me,
redeemed me, suffering on the cross;
may such great effort not be in vain.


Juste judex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.

Righteous judge of vengeance,
grant me the gift of absolution
before the day of retribution.


Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus;
supplicanti parce, Deus.

I moan as one who is guilty:
owning my shame with a red face;
suppliant before you, Lord.


Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.

You, who absolved Mary,
and listened to the thief,
give me hope also.


Preces meae non sunt dignae,
sed tu, bonus, fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.

My prayers are unworthy,
but, good Lord, have mercy,
and rescue me from eternal fire.


Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextra.

Provide me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
guiding me to Your right hand.

5. Confutatis

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis,
voca me cum benedictus.

When the accused are confounded,
and doomed to flames of woe,
call me among the blessed.


Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis,
gere curam mei finis.

I kneel with submissive heart,
my contrition is like ashes,
help me in my final condition.

6. Lacrimosa

Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla
judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus,
pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.

That day of tears and mourning,
when from the ashes shall arise,
all humanity to be judged.
Spare us by your mercy, Lord,
gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest. Amen.


IV. Offertorium

I. Domine Jesu

Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae,
libera animas omnium fidelium
defunctorum de poenis inferni
et de profundo lacu.
Libera eas de ore leonis,
ne absorbeat eas tartarus,
ne cadant in obscurum.

Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory,
liberate the souls of the faithful,
departed from the pains of hell
and from the bottomless pit.
Deliver them from the lion's mouth,
lest hell swallow them up,
lest they fall into darkness.

Sed signifer sanctus Michael
repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam.
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
et semini ejus.

Let the standard-bearer, holy Michael,
bring them into holy light.
Which was promised to Abraham
and his descendants.

2. Hostias

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine,
laudis offerimus.
Tu sucipe pro animabus illis,
quaram hodie memoriam facimus.
Fac eas, Domine,
de morte transire ad vitam,
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
et semini ejus.

Sacrifices and prayers of praise, Lord,
we offer to You.
Receive them in behalf of those souls
we commemorate today.
And let them, Lord,
pass from death to life,
which was promised to Abraham
and his descendants.


VI. Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis
peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis
peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis
peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem sempiternam.

Lamb of God, who takes away
the sins of the world,
grant them eternal rest.
Lamb of God, who takes away
the sins of the world,
Grant them eternal rest.
Lamb of God, who takes away
the sins of the world,
grant them eternal rest forever.


VII. Communio: Lux aeterna

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine,
et Lux perpetua luceat eis,
cum Sanctus tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.

Let eternal light shine on them, Lord,
as with Your saints in eternity,
because You are merciful.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them,
as with Your saints in eternity,
because You are merciful.

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