In Paradisum


May the angels escort you into paradise; at your coming, may the martyrs receive you and bring you into the holy city, Jerusalem. May the chorus of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

In Paradisum is the Gregorian chant antiphon sung at the end of the traditional Roman Catholic Requiem Mass as the body is being taken out of the church. The chant is in the mixolydian mode.

Find a list of other chant themes here.

Puer Natus Est


Puer natus est is the introit chant for the Third Mass of Christmas Day (Mass of the Day). The chant is in the mixolydian mode.

Find a list of other chant themes here.

Olivier Messiaen – Improvisation “Puer Natus Est” – La Trinité
Tobias Schmid – Improvisation ‘Puer natus est’ – Rottenburger Dom
Jonathan Wessler – Fantasy-improvisation on Puer natus est nobis – Christ Church Episcopal, Rochester, New York

Mixolydian Mode

The Mixolydian mode is Mode 7 of the church modes used in Gregorian chant. In modern terms, it is most easily described as the scale from G to G using only the white notes of the piano. In order to construct the scale starting on other notes, follow the pattern ascending from tonic: whole step – whole step – half step – whole step – whole step – half step – whole step.

A handout showing the mode starting from all twelve notes is available here.

The Mixolydian mode is considered a major mode because of the major third above the tonic. It differs from the major scale by having a lowered seventh degree. The ancient Greek Mixolydian mode in the diatonic genus resembles the Locrian mode rather than the ecclesiastical Mixolydian mode.

Some themes in the Mixolydian mode include:

  • Asperges me
  • Puer Natus Est
  • In Paradisum