The Crowder Requiem Review: Kyrie Eleison

We’ve come to the “Kyrie Eleison” of Give Us Rest. Kyrie Eleison means “Lord have mercy” in Greek, and it’s part of the ordinary Catholic mass, meaning that it’s recited every single day in addition to its inclusion in special masses like the Requiem mass. You will find that the mass text is very humble, aware of God’s holiness our own inadeqacy, and consequently takes on a pleading tone at times. The David Crowder* Band explores the theme of God’s mercy in three songs: one asking for mercy, one humbled by His offer of mercy, and one exuberant to receive His mercy.

In the album, the actual Kyrie Eleison text is set (in English translation and in the Greek) to a percussive, synthesized, minor-ish backdrop. You’ll find the recording here. It’s a full five minutes and seventeen seconds with only one departure from the traditional text, which makes it sort of meditative. The chimes included in the beginning and during the interlude are reminiscent of the chimes Catholic and Anglican churches use during communion, or of church bells.

But the David Crowder* Band does not stop there. Track six is entitled “Why Me?” and expands on the idea of needing God’s mercy, and receiving God’s mercy. The tone of humility is consistent with the mass text. The question “why me?” refers to the undeserved gift of God’s love. The simple, wailing vocals and acoustic guitar emphasize the need of the speaker and his undeserving nature. The song is full of awe and gratitude that God would bestow love and kindness on someone so unworthy. It’s necessary to remember our wretched state and the sins that would mark our souls to truly appreciate God’s unfailing love and saving grace.

The theme of Kyrie Eleison culminates in the seventh track, “Fall on Your Knees.” While “Why Me?” emphasized the humility of our hearts, “Fall on Your Knees” emphasizes the majesty of God. The theme of receiving God’s mercy continues in this grateful and awestruck song. The texture is a big contrast from “Why Me?,” full of percussive energy and backed by a full rock band: drums, tambourine, electric guitar, synthesizer, bass. It is the joyful praise we respond with in light of God’s mercy.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Crowder Requiem Review: Gradual « singingchickadee

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