We can likely thank Pope Sergius’s defiance for the hymn Dona Nobis Pacem. It’s believed that Pope Sergius (687-701) introduced the Agnus Dei to the Roman Catholic Mass – one of the last sections added – to annoy the Byzantine Empire (Constantinople) who stated that Christ should never be depicted as an animal. And from that rebellious addition sprouted a peaceful, musical prayer – the familiar, three-word text we sing as a round today.
Although we know where the text originated, no one knows who created the tune to Dona Nobis Pacem. But since it’s a simple tune, some believe it has its origins in folk music. To honor that simplicity, I created a gentle, easily-learned piano arrangement that could be used for church services, interfaith services, weddings, funerals, and other occasions I’m sure I’ve not yet thought of. I’ve wanted to write this arrangement for several years but this year, with all the turmoil our world has seen and with the predictions of what lies ahead, I felt it was finally time. I hope you find it both useful and enjoyable.
Dona nobis pacem.
Grant us peace.