The Lord’s Prayer by Sister Janet Mead
‘The Lord's Prayer’ is a pop-rock setting of the Christian prayer recorded in 1973 by Australian Catholic nun, Sister Janet Mead. Featuring music by Arnold Strals, it was the first Australian recording to sell 1 million records in the USA.
After reaching No. 3 on the Australian charts, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ sold nearly 3 million copies worldwide. It climbed to the upper reaches of the pop charts in countries as diverse as Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany and the United States. Mead donated her royalties from the recording's international sales to charity.
Mead (1937-2022) was a music teacher at two Adelaide Catholic Schools who pioneered the use of contemporary rock music in celebrating the Roman Catholic Mass. She began making professional recordings of her music for schools and churches in 1973.
With producer Martin Erdman, she recorded a version of the Donovan song ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’ for Festival Records. The rock arrangement of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ was initially intended for the single’s B-side.
The success of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ led to further music releases, but Mead resisted the call to continue her pop career, despite intense media interest. She withdrew from the public eye in the early 1980s to focus on her charitable work. Mead was named 2004 South Australian of the Year for her work over decades caring for the homeless.