Missa Brevis pro Pace

I have just completed a new composition for SATB chorus a capella titled Missa Brevis pro Pace. I began working on it back at the beginning of autumn and completed it today. The piece, which has five movements, is nearly twenty minutes long.

I. Kyrie

Kyrie eleison;
Lord, have mercy;
Christe eleison;
Christ, have mercy;
Kyrie eleison.
Lord, have mercy.

II. Sanctus

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus,
Holy, holy, holy,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth;
Lord God of Hosts;
pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Heaven and Earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Hosanna in the highest.

III. Benedictus

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Hosanna in the highest.

IV. Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis.
have mercy on us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis.
have mercy on us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
dona nobis pacem.
grant us peace.

V. Dona Nobis Pacem

Beati misericordes,
Blessed are the merciful,
beati mundo corde,
blessed are the pure in heart,
beati pacifici.
blessed are the peaceful.
O Domine, dona nobis pacem, amen.
O Lord, grant us peace, amen.

In our world, peace seems to be an elusive state. Each day we seem to make increasing strides toward it, yet each day it seems to escape further from our reach. There is a sense of greater awareness and action, as more and more people realize that violence, anger, and hate only beget more violence, anger, and hate, yet there is also a sense of increasing urgency, as each day we hear of another mugging, another rape, another murder, another bomb, another terrorist attack, another genocide, another war. This work is meant to invoke that sense of urgency, and to beg for help, to find forgiveness for the hell which we inflict upon our neighbors, and to learn to make peace with them.