“Dona nobis pacem.” “Give us peace.” Humankind has longed for peace throughout history, and – the world being what it is – many musical settings of this prayer have a solemn, sorrowing, or wistful quality. Not so Mozart’s C major Missa Solemnis, where the prayer is made in confidence and joy of fulfillment. It is the faith of Hebrews 11 – “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – made audible. George MacDonald strikes the same tone in his Unspoken Sermons (Third Series):
When a man is true, if he were in hell he could not be miserable. He is right with himself because right with Him from whence he came. To be right with God is to be right with the universe: one with the power, the love, the will of the mighty Father, the cherisher of joy, the Lord of laughter, whose are all glories, all hopes, who loves everything and hates nothing but selfishness.
Recording by the Wiener Singverein & Berliner Philharmoniker.