People of all ages from across the archdiocese are expected to fill the pews at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown Los Angeles 6 p.m. Jan. 24 for the annual Requiem for the Unborn Mass.
The Mass will be celebrated a few days after the Jan. 21-22 National Prayer Vigil for Life in Washington, D.C. These events, along with the first annual OneLife LA celebration Jan. 17, are held concurrent to the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
The yearly archdiocesan pro-life Mass features the “Shantigarh Requiem for the Unborn,” with original hymns and music composed by John Bonaduce, music director at Our Lady of Peace Church in North Hills.
The Shantigarh Choir, under the direction of Bonaduce, will include singers from St. Bernardine of Siena Church in Woodland Hills, where the requiem originated; Our Lady of Peace, North Hills; St. Rose of Lima, Thousand Oaks; Our Lady of the Valley, Canoga Park; Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks and Louisville High School in Woodland Hills as well as from other parishes and institutions.
“The singers change over time in their understanding of what it means to support life. … As young teenagers, the singers are eager and accepting of their role. As years pass, they learn the political and social implications of singing in a pro-life event,” said Bonaduce, who taught high school choir for 16 years and has enlisted hundreds of young vocalists for the annual event over the years.
“Some disappear for a few years, then return,” he added. “This requiem ensemble [meets] in this configuration only once a year for this event [and] they have become a kind of family.”
As in past years, the liturgy will conclude with a moving ceremony of lights, during which members of the assembly bring forward candles — one candle for each life expected to be lost to abortion that day across the county.
After the Mass, the lit candles will be placed outside to be displayed in the Cathedral Colonnade for one week as a visual reminder of the Catholic community’s commitment to life.