Christel Veraart – Litany for the Feast of All Souls


Christel Veraart’s new single is called Litany for the Feast of All Souls. All Souls’ Day – November 2 – is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died. In Mexico, this day is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and together with other Christian denominations as a commemoration of all the departed. Intended as a series of invocations for all the souls that left this world, Georg Jacobi wrote the words to Litany for the Feast of All Souls (original: Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen).

The original poem holds nine stanzas that detail circumstances of their parting and each verse concludes with: “All Souls Rest in Peace”. Around 1816, Franz Schubert set this poem to music. “Just like Caccini’s Ave Maria and Franck’s Panis Angelicus, this song has traveled the world with me,” says Christel Veraart. “Its most memorable performance at the remote mission of San Borja, in the middle of the Sonoran desert in Mexico’s Baja California. It was first released on my album Musica Sacra in a version for voice (sung in German) and piano.”

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Ruhn in Frieden alle Seelen,
Die vollbracht ein banges Quälen,
Die vollendet süssen Traum,
Lebenssatt, geboren kaum,
Aus der Welt hinüber schieden:
Alle Seelen ruhn in Frieden!

Liebevoller Mädchen Seelen,
Deren Tränen nicht zu zählen,
Die ein falscher Freund verliess,
Und die blinde Welt verstiess:
Alle, die von hinnen schieden,
Alle Seelen ruhn in Frieden!

Und die nie der Sonne lachten,
Unterm Mond auf Dornen wachten,
Gott, im reinen Himmelslicht,
Einst zu sehn von Angesicht:
Alle, die von hinnen schieden,
Alle Seelen ruhn in Frieden!

Georg Jacobi

Rest in peace all souls,
Who completed anxious torment,
Who fulfilled the perfect dream,
Who, sated with life and hardly born,
Passed on from the world:
All souls rest in peace.

Lovely girl’s soul,
Whose tears are countless,
who left a faithless friend behind,
and rejected the blind world:
All those who have parted from here,
All souls rest in peace.

And who never smiled at the sun,
Keeping watch on thorns beneath the moon,
To see God, pure in heavenly light,
Only once to see him face to face:
All those who parted from here
All souls rest in peace.

translation: Christel Veraart

For more information and music samples, go to Bandcamp