The Crowder Requiem Review: Gradual

After the Kyrie section of the David Crowder* Band’s Give Us Rest album, we find ourselves at a burial in the rain. We hear the priest reciting the text of the Gradual: “…In memoria aeterna erit iustus…” –he shall be justified in everlasting memory.

The Gradual is the third main section of the mass, after the Introit and the Kyrie. The name “Gradual” probably comes from the tradition of singing this part of the mass from the steps of the altar. “A Burial” reconnects the Requiem text to its origins as a mass for the dead. It reminds us that this music is connected with death, but reaches into eternity. As the priest says, “You can pray for rest; you can pray for light,” even when you are grieving.

“Let Me Feel You Shine,” the musical expression of the Gradual, brings us back to the world of the living and the struggles of Earth-bound mortals. It expresses our need to be redeemed, to be justified, and to feel the presence of God. This song is traditional in instrumentation: drums, rhythm guitar, electric guitar, bass, and some synthesized sounds filling out the texture. The Band transports the Gradual text (translated here) “Let perpetual light shine upon them” to an Earthly level, singing “If I could feel you shine your perpetual light, then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight.” They describe the light of God- beautiful, warm, bright, like the sun coming out of the rain (the rain we heard in the previous track). This is a song of longing, of desire for the light of God.

The Tract is next. Tune in tomorrow to hear the gorgeous music the Tract text inspired.

Forgive, O Lord,
the souls of all the faithful departed
from all the chains of their sins
and by the aid to them of your grace
may they deserve to avoid the judgment of revenge,
and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

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