Has your parish made changes to the Agnus Dei?

Reading this on Zenit made me think of my own parish:

ROME, JULY 13, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.

Q: It is common in my diocese for priests, after the Lamb of God, when the Missal reads “This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world …” to substitute a different (but still true) title or description of Christ – usually related to the Gospel of the day. For example, “This is Jesus, who today calls us to take up our cross and follow him …” Is this permitted? – C.S., Hamilton, New Zealand

A: The short answer to this, and to other similar questions regarding priests altering prescribed texts or composing new ones, is no.

But – and there is a but – in some countries and religious congregations, small additions have been made to these prayers with proper authorization from the Holy See.


Our choirs have added an extra line – “Have mercy on us” X 3, followed by one “Grant us Your peace”. BUT they only sing “O Lamb of God” once. The other three times they use other descriptions of our Lord.

I’m wondering if this kind of alteration is wide-spread or if we’re merely an anomaly.

First, please realize that your parish did not make the changes to the Agnus Dei. Composers did. There are many musical settings, some of which have the inappropriate changes, and many music directors are not aware that it is not right to use the changed words.

In my parish, we use a couple of those settings, but the cantor simply changes the words back to “Lamb of God.”

It is very widespread, as these musical settings are quite popular.


According to Redemptionis Sacramentum, this kind of stuff is not supposed to happen:

[59.] The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy.

In fact, the CDWDS, when it released the new translations to allow composers to set them to music, strongly warned them and their publishers that they were not to fool around with the text. Paraphrasing is not allowed. This is something, unfortunately, that Marty Haugen, David Haas, Bernadette Ferrel and others are infamous for doing in their Mass settings.

Are there any publishing companies that publish by the book Missals and Hymnals? In the 70’s and early 80’s our Parish use the “Seasonal Missalette”. I was to young to know about 'Liturgical Abuses" Only in the mid 80’s I started to see changes.

our music issue has a lamb of God setting that doesn’t use “Jesus lamb of God” for the beginning all three times. When I cantor I make sure I use “lamb of God” all three times.

I asked that a while back, and someone directed me to the St. Michael hymnal:


I haven’t seen one yet, as I’m waiting for the new translation to be implemented before making any changes at the parish, but based on the website, it looks promising.

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