Of all the songs ever written, the simple ones can be some of the best. "Dona Nobis Pacem," which means 'Grant Us Peace,' is one such song. The songs's simple but powerful message is still very relevant in today's world.
The origin of the song is not definitively known. It is sometimes attributed to Mozart but the source is usually listed as "Traditional" in most musical texts. While it is a beautiful piece, from an academic standpoint it is not very well written. This likely means that the hymn has its origins in folk music. Our best guess is that it is an old Christmas song written in the 16th or 17th century by an unknown composer in Germany. It has long since been widely used in several other European countries.
Today it is present in many church hymnals and a portion of the Agnus Dei from the Roman Catholic Mass. It is usually sung around Christmas time due to its message of peace.
Originally published December 17, 2015
The United Methodist Hymnal at hymnsite.com
Agnus Dei from the Catholic Encyclopedia 1907
Dona Nobis Pacem from the Westmenster Presbyterian Church, Dayton, Ohio