We celebrate an annual requiem in St Mary’s to remember the souls of those who have died. It is on All Souls’ Day each year and that’s today, 2 November. The service takes place at 7.30 tonight.

It is a service where people come to remember others who have died. We remember them in our intercessions and also stand alongside one another in acknowledgement that grief is real and raw and that we are all touched by it somehow. Praying together in this way has immense power to heal.

The music is a great part of what we offer for this remembrance. Tonight it is the much loved Fauré Requiem.

People often know the Fauré Requiem from Classic FM or concert hall performances. However, it was written for a purpose and makes most sense in its proper context – a service for those who have died. I’ve known the music since I did my music O Level at school when it was one of the pieces we studied.

That was my first introduction to the Western rite in any form. I’d never encountered liturgical worship and found it incredibly difficult to relate the music to what might happen in church. Classes had to begin by explaining what a kyrie and a sanctus was. It was all news to me. Praying for the dead was not simply news to me it was an abomination to me.

Now I find this business to be of the greatest kindness. To remember with as much love and compassion as God gives us, those who have died whom we remember and to stand alongside others who are doing the same is to stand in a garden when gospel flowers bloom.

Tonight we remember those who have died by name and the names remain on the High Altar (with the exception of the dark Triduum time in Holy Week) until next All Souls’ Day. If you are coming to the service tonight but have forgotten to include a name, then they can still be emailed to the office up until 2 pm today.