A Requiem Mass in the traditional Latin form is to be offered at a Catholic church in Lancashire to mark the reinterment of King Richard III, which will take place on the same day at Leicester’s Anglican cathedral.
The mortal remains of Richard III, who died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, before the Reformation, will be reinterred in the cathedral on March 26, in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury and an invited congregation.
The Requiem Mass for the repose of Richard III’s soul will be held on the same day St Catherine’s Church, in Leyland, Lancashire, at 7.30pm. It will be a Sung High Latin Mass with singers from the Laeta Cantoribus Choir, “in the style and manner of (Richard III’s) day”.
“The idea is that it will be closer to what he might have experienced in his own lifetime, as a pre-reformation Catholic,” said parish priest Fr Simon Henry.
After the service, refreshments will be served, also in keeping with what King Richard might have expected in his lifetime.
“The food afterwards will make at least a nod in the direction of the 15th century, or at least to his Yorkshire connections,” said Fr Henry. “Though wild boar sausages are a little difficult to come by!”
The skeleton of Richard III was found under a car park in Leicester in 2012. In the days before the reinterment service at Leicester Cathedral, the coffin will be taken to Leicester University and Bosworth Field, where the king was was killed in battle.
Following the Leicester Cathedral service, Richard III’s body will lie “in repose” for three days before being reinterred.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster will be part of the week-long run of events to mark the reinterment.
The cardinal will preach at a service of compline on the day the king’s remains are received into the cathedral and will celebrate a Requiem Mass the next day at a nearby Catholic parish.
Dominican friars will also sing vespers at the cathedral in the run-up to the reinterment and Fr David Rocks OP, parish priest, will preach at a lunchtime Eucharist.
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