Friends & Neighbours (Agnus Dei)

This is a pilot recording for my “rewrite the Catholic Mass” project. I hadn’t planned on posting this now, but the track seemed fitting for the morning after America elected Trump.

Quick overview of the project: there are lots of big league great mass settings but also lots of people who don’t resonate with its texts at all, so I’ve renovated the texts while preserving aspects of the original message. Out with the 4th century metaphors, in with words most people I’ve met could use liturgically. In this movement’s case, the message is humility, “oh sh*t, I/we just did that”, and moving toward reconciliation.

I may or may not finish the project, but here’s the Agnus Dei using William Byrd’s 3-part setting, as recorded for my church choir as a note-learning guide.

Text:

Friends and neighbours
I screwed up and acted poorly.
Please forgive my errors.

Friends and neighbours
We messed up and chose unwisely.
Peace we grant each other.

Original Text:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.