Could you please answer the following questions about Requiem Masses (RMs) as I find the rules (rubrics) confusing? I believe that there are three grades or classes of RMs: First, Second, and Third.
My understanding is that a First Class RM is the Funeral Mass. It is a deceased person’s funeral. There can only be one First Class RM for any one person. Is this correct?
Second Class RMs I am less sure about. I believe there can be one when the news of a person’s death is announced. There can be one on the day of Final Burial, which I presume would only occur if the person’s mortal remains where finally disposed of on a different day from their funeral. I also understand that Second Class RMs can be celebrated on the first anniversary of a person’s death. How many Second Class RMs can a person have and when can they be celebrated?
Third Class RMs can I think be celebrated on the second and subsequent anniversaries of a person’s death. Can any other Third Class RMs be celebrated?
I am too young to know the pre-Vatican II liturgy but I believe there was what was known as the Daily Mass of the Dead. What was this Mass? Is it still permitted? If yes, when and how is it used?
I know there is a Table of Rubrics which states on which days RMs of various classes (and Votive Masses of various classes) are permitted. What happens if the anniversary of a person’s death falls on a day when the RM of appropriate class is prohibited? Perhaps if this happened once this RM would not be celebrated. What happens if it is permanently impeded, can it be observed on another day?
I believe that I am also correct in thinking that any Mass can be applied for the intention of any person, living or dead and that if it is applied for the intention of a dead person it is not a Requiem Mass. So, what makes a Mass a Requiem Mass?
Finally, I’d like to clarify what colour of vestments can be used at RMs. I live in England and I believe it’s important for you to know that to answer my question because the rules I think can differ from country to country. In England, I think we can use black, violet, or white vestments. The choice I also believe should be discussed with the family and not be the sole choice of the priest. If no compromise can be reached then the colour used should be violet.
White I understand is appropriate for children, women consecrated to a life of virginity, female religious, and during the Easter season.
Violet is used for adults, other than those mentioned above, outside Easter but white can be used for all funerals to celebrate the person’s life and our hope in the Resurrection.
Black may legitimately be used and may be appropriate during Lent. Black I believe should be avoided during the Easter season and for children, consecrated virgins and female religious.
Does the use of these colours apply to all RMs? I think I read somewhere, although I cannot remember where, that at Third Class RMs the liturgical colour used should be that of the occurring liturgical day.