In the spring of 2021, the Worship Commission at Claremont Presbyterian Church in Claremont, California, considered what we might do as we looked toward beginning to worship in person after more than 12 months. We felt that it couldn’t be simply going back to what we had done before. It needed to inspire, challenge and equip us to be part of the healing of our whole community. That’s when the idea of commissioning a new Requiem came to us. In its ancient form, a Requiem was simply a mass for the dead. Over the centuries, the Requiem form began to transcend its roots in church liturgy to become a means by which composers could reflect on grief, loss and hope and enable their audiences to do so as well. Our music director, Geri DeMasi, was up for the challenge. After several delays caused by surges that cancelled choir practices, Pandemic Requiem premiered on Palm Sunday 2022. It featured our choir, community singers and readings from our local paper tracing the story of the pandemic in Claremont.
View the video of the service by clicking here.