Key change following the Our Father prayers

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  I have a question about the sung text following the Our Father prayers:  Does it really change keys at:  Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles peace . . . . ?  Or is that a mistake?

We are going to add the sung texts in a couple of weeks.  That key change, if not a mistake, is VERY DIFFICULT!

Thanks.  And stay cool!


A:  The key change is correct. Sort of.

Catholics in the United States are more familiar with the chant setting of the Our Father composed by Robert Snow rather than the chant setting that ICEL prepared for the post-Vatican II mass in English. The US missal now includes the Snow setting in the Order of Mass because that’s the one that many people know. But the modality is different from the rest of the chant in the missal. Two chant settings that fit the missal’s modality (and key) are in the first appendix, and the page number appears in the Order of Mass right after the Lord’s Prayer.

Outside the United States, the Snow setting is not so well known, so the matching chant appears in its proper place within the Order of Mass.

Having said all that, “keys” are all relative in the missal. The notes on the page are not all meant to match up with A=440. They all represent relative pitch, not absolute pitch. My advice is for the priest to listen for the last pitch the people sing at the end of “For the kingdom” and use it as his first pitch for “Lord Jesus Christ”. The change is modality is not jarring that way.