A Musical Requiem for John

Francis Koerber , Composer

One Year Anniversary Requiem Mass
December 1, 2020 : 11:00am

St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church
Allentown, PA

A Note From Francis:

After John’s passing away I began composing music for a Requiem Mass, intended for his 1st Anniversary. A few months passed and the Covid outbreak shut down many of the churches. Masses were suspended along with attendance by congregations, choirs, musicians and more.

As the months went on, the music that I began composing for him seemed more and more unlikely to be performed at his Requiem Mass which would take place on December 1, 2020.

Therefore, at the beginning of October 2020, I decided I would compose the most simple Requiem possible in order to facilitate the quick learning and practice of music for his upcoming Mass. It was decided to compose five movements: Introit, Kyrie, Absolve Me, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. I sat down to the piano at St. John the Baptist School and wrote out all the movements that day.

This music was presented to a quartet of singers from my parish of which I was to sing the Baritone part. We had one reading of the Mass in early November and then a quick refresher before the actual Mass on December 1. Unfortunately, three of the four of us had a flu and were not in good voice, but we were determined to sing just the same. The Sanctus was the most difficult of the movements, and we forwent including that in the Mass. Therefore, we sang the other four movements.

Along with the newly composed choral music, Eric and Francis sang the specified Gregorian Chant per the Liber Usualis.

The following recording is an edited version of the Mass which includes the musical portions, with some of the responses.

Tami and I and our entire family wish to thank Eric, Susan and Theresa for their dedication and effort to raise a prayerful voice for our son, John on this special day. Thank you Father Alloy for offering this Mass for John, and the five wonderful servers.

Music Selections of the Anniversary Requiem for John Joseph Koerber


Introit : Requiem for John, Movement I
Kyrie : Requiem for John, Movement II
Graduale : (Gregorian Chant)
Tract : Requiem for John, Movement III
Sequence : (Gregorian Chant)
Offertory : (Gregorian Chant)
Sanctus : (Gregorian Chant)
Agnus Dei : Requiem for John, Movement V
Lux Aeterna : (Gregorian Chant)
Libera Me : (Gregorian Chant)
In Paradisum : (Gregorian Chant)

View the entire text of the Requiem Mass in Latin and English