While Joachim Raff was in Liszt's employ, the older composer encouraged his younger colleague to devote his efforts to creating religous music literature. Raff was rather more interested in keyboard and vocal music in general and the theatre in particular. In July 1853, Raff composed his setting of the Te Deum, a rare consession to Liszt's encouragement on a commission from the Roman Catholic Church in Weimar.
In Roman Catholic liturgy, psalm 130 occurs in the Liber Usualis. Raff's setting of this text could be interpreted as his sole effort at the composition of a Requiem Mass