A Message of Peace and Rest in God

The last few years have been difficult ones for most of us, and we long to find solace. Music, especially in worship, helps from week to week. But in these fraught times we may need something both beautiful and new to our ears that will inspire us and bring us ever closer to God. What about a Requiem composed intentionally for the living as well as for the deceased? What about a text that asks for rest and mercy in our pain, our sadness, our troubles?

The composer Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living (2013) is a five-movement choral piece that acknowledges the sorrow and turmoil of humanity and asks for redemption, offers vivid musical images of heaven and earth, and leaves us with an ethereal sense of peace and rest. This is the message we long to hear.

"The Chancel Choir and I have repeatedly been drawn to Dan Forrest's choral works. His music is transcendent, and his deep faith is evident in the glorious and meaningful music that he writes. He is exceptionally gifted at marrying text and music, which stirs the soul."
– Christine Hestwood, Music Director

On November 13, the congregation of Westminster will have the opportunity to hear Requiem for the Living during the eleven o’clock worship service, performed by the Chancel Choir, soloists, and a chamber ensemble.

The words come from the Latin Requiem mass and scripture. A single verse from Matthew appears near the end to bring the message of rest in the Lord to each of us: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

– Sara Kyle

I’d like to think that God made me to write music, and when I do a good job at it, I can feel God’s pleasure in doing what I was made to do. And it’s such a beautiful way to minister to people in terms of providing music for comfort, music for celebration, music for memorials, music that speaks peace or hope or seeks to bind up wounds or provide healing when there’s brokenness.
– Dan Forrest, Greenville Journal