Mode 3 is one of the most enigmatic of all modes! It’s range is full, and it encompasses BOTH half step relationships at either end of the spectrum. It recites on TI – an unstable pitch, which is constantly “pulling” to resolve up to DO. The home tone, MI is a half step away from FA, so its endings always have a mysterious somber sense to them.
Non invenientes Jesum, is a beautiful example of this complex mode. Taken from the Feast of St. Joseph, the text reads: “Not finding Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him: and after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Luke 2:45-46.)
First to note is the opening phrase, which starts with the home tone and the MI-FA relationship, not once, but twice; then ascends right up to the TI-DO on the word “Jesum”. This small phrase encapsulates the essence of Mode 3! Listen for these key relationships throughout this whole antiphon, and sing along.