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Dying, Songs for the
(370 words)

[German Version]

Songs for the dying deal with the theme of human transience or react to the event of death. They articulate mourning and hope, and sometimes also the futility of earthly existence or earthly goods. Functionally, songs for the dying may be classified as: 1. memento-mori songs; 2. ars-moriendi songs; 3. occasional songs for burial; and 4. (Catholic) mass songs. The first group addresses death as the basic condition of human existence as well as the contingency of all existing things (contemptus mundi/vanitas motif, cf. EG 527f.). The second group understands itself…

Cite this page
Fischer, Michael, “Dying, Songs for the”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 February 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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