Catholic Chant
Keeping the Faith through Music
Dies Irae

Latin English
(1) Dies irae, dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla.

Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando judex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulcra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
Cum resurget creatura,
Judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
In quo totum continetur,
Unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet apparebit.
Nil inultum remanebit.

(2) Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
Cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatis
Qui salvandos salvas gratis:
Salva me, fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae:
Ne me perdas illa die.

Quaerens me, sedisti, lassus;
Redemisti crucem passus;
Tantus labor non sit cassus.

Juste Judex ultionis,
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco tanquam reus,
Culpa rubet vultus meus;
Supplicanti parce, Deus.

(3) Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Et latronem exaudisti,
Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meae non sunt dignae,
Sed tu, bonus, fac benigne,
Ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis,
Gere curam mei finis.

(fin.) Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus:
Huic ergo parce, Deus.

Pie Jesu Domine:
Dona eis requiem. Amen.

Day of wrath, that day
Resolving the ages into ashes
Prophesied by David and the Sybil.

How fearful is the future
When the judge has come,
Strictly he investigates all.

The trumpet scattering the wondrous sound
Through the sepulchre region,
Calls all before the throne.

Death and nature are awestruck,
When the creature rises again,
To give answer to the Judging One.

The written book is revealed,
In which all is contained,
Whence the world is to be judged.

The judge, moreover, will be seated,
That which was hidden, will appear,
Nothing will remain unavenged.

What am I, miserable, to say at that time?
What patron to entreat?
When even the just scarcely will be secure?

King of terrible majesty,
Thou who freely saves those who must be saved:
Save me, Fount of Mercy.

Remember, O loving Jesus,
That I am a (the!) cause of thy Way:
Do not allow me to be lost on that day.

Seeking me, thou sat, exhausted;
Thou redeemedst (me), having suffered the cross,
Do not allow such labor to be lost.

O Just Judge of avenging,
Give the gift of remission,
Before the day of reckoning.

I groan, like the defendant,
My guilt reddens my face;
Spare the suppliant one, O God.

O Thou who pardoned Mary (Magdalene),
And heard the thief,
Thou hast given hope to me also.

My prayers are not worthy,
But thou, being good, make me well,
Lest I burn in eternal fire.

Guarantee me a place among the sheep,
And hide me away from the goats,
Standing (me) at your right side.

Having confounded the accursed,
And doomed them to the acrid flames,
Call me with the blessed.

Kneeling and bowed, I pray
With a contrite heart, like unto ashes,
Do Thou bear the pain of my end.

Tearful that day,
When again from ashes arises
Man, the defendant who must be judged:
However, spare this man, O Lord.

O loving Jesus, Lord:
Grant them rest. Amen

Season: Special use

Use: Requiem Mass, All Souls' Day

The sequence of the Requiem Mass, the Dies Irae is one of the church's most famous hymns.  It describes the final judgment "as prophesied by David and the Sybil," that is, according to both religious and secular oracles.  It details the sinner's request for mercy, the grace of final penitence, and ultimately, salvation.


May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.