Lamb of God litany during the mass...Help ???

Hi everyone,

Yesterday evening during mass, we got to the litany:

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Now, instead of singing the litany as I have it listed above, the cantor, added another stanza into this, four stanzas total, and changed the wording to “Bread of Life” and “Prince of Peace”…

One more major point, this is not an accidental error or slip up…I have now identified this at the last 4 weekend masses and last night at the All Saints mass…A fixed pattern exists…I was dismissing it as a slip up and giving the benefit of the doubt until last night…

I do acknowledge that I have heard the different titles/names for Lamb of God at mass, but never with 4 stanzas…

Now my questions for all of you to help me with:

1**. Are there only to be 3 stanzas for this Litany ???
2. Is it permissable, to alter “Lamb of God” with the other titles, “Bread of Life”, “Prince of Peace”, etc.**

I was just wanting to get the facts first and have not discussed this with anyone else…

:confused: :confused: :confused:

It is as you originally listed and cannot be changed.

I suggest that as many people as possible simply say it outloud the way it should be said and leave the cantor hanging.

No, it is not permissible, but here’s why it happens. Catholic music publishers put out Mass settings by various composers who have included these extra verses in the Lamb of God. Marty Haugen’s Mass of Creation is perhaps the best known of these. I’m sure you’re well aware that it is a human tendency to view whatever is in print, especially what comes from a Catholic publisher, as acceptable.


I know this is mostly irrelevant but I thought I’d mention that at Requiem Masses (like the one for All Souls) the Agnus Dei becomes: “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem (sempiternam)” This is the ONLY time that the text of the Agnus Dei can be changed.

hmm, but this is from Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, By Msgr Peter Elliott

**#587 The celebrant may simplify the Communion Rite, but without omitting the Our Father, the fraction and the showing of the Host and invitation to Communion. An approved adaptation of the Agnus Dei may be sung.


These are permitted options in the Novus Order Mass in the USA. I do not know about other countries. I have seen these in the Missalette, though I do not believe I have ever heard them used in my Church.

Editorial. This is one of the problems with the Novus Ordo; way too many options. All these options lead to both abuse and confusion, as is evidenced in this post and several of the responses. End of editorial.

I went to the GIRM and found the following:

366. It is not permitted to substitute other chants for those found in the Order of Mass, such as at the Agnus Dei.

Now the next question, aren’t we supposed to follow the GIRM ???

There are indults specifically for the USA. If this is one of those cases I do not know. I do know that I have seen these different chants in the Missallette from Oregon Catholic Press. (Now there is is an organization motivated by a desire to defend tha faith no matter the cost - not.)

I think maybe we go to the same church here in Louisiana. Send me a private pm to let me know which one you go to.

However, they do it at mine and it I don’t think it is replacing anything, I think it is added to allow more time to let the priest finish doing what he is doing before the fracture. I noticed it at masses where there is a large congregation vs. (like the one I was at today) which was very sparse where they did not do it(due to the LSU football game.)

Of course, my hypothesis could be wrong, which would not be a first.
This is OMHO


I have heard celebrants say: “This is JESUS, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Evidently there are a lot of people who don’t know that the Lamb of God is Jesus.

Well, I had someone tell ME that they didn’t know that.

The fourth stanza IS allowed if necessasy to give the Priest time to complete the fractioning. Unfortunately at our parish, the priest is finished around stanza two and he just has to wait for our music person to sing however many stanzas she has chosen for the day. :mad:

Changing the words is NOT allowed.

Have you a list of the approved adaptations approved by the USCCB or any ordinary bishop? Also the Great Amen; or is it just Amen?

Yes, I did see that the chant can continue until the fractioning is complete…And just like you, this very morning the priest was waiting after the 1st stanza at my church !!!

The wording was changed again: Prince of Peace, Bread of Life…

:frowning: :frowning:

Regardless of personal opinion, it is liturgically correct to vary the invocation part of the Agnus Dei. [ref: The Lliturgy Documents, Music in Catholic Worship, 68. Lamb of God]

The Agnus Dei is a litany song, i.e., invocation and response. The final response is alway “grant us peace”’. When sung, it is led by the cantor/choir with congregation responding; it may also be recited. Traditionally, it is sung a minimum of 3x.

While it is true that another song may not replace the chant, [ref: Music in Divine Worship, USCCB 2007, #188. Fraction Rite] “This invocation accompanies the fraction (breaking of Bread) and may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion” [ref: General Instructions of the Roman Missal, # 83] “When the Agnus Dei is sung repeatedly as a litany, Christological invocations with other texts may be used. In this case, the 1st and final invocations are always Lamb of God”

That document has no authority, nor do most USCCB Liturgical documents. The plain truth of the matter is that the other invocations are not found in the missal. If it is not found in the missal, then it should not be used for the ordinary of the Mass. Period. Doing anything else is adding to the texts of the Mass. Nowhere in the missal, or any authoritive document is permission given to alter the agnus dei.

I have heard the following sung at some Masses at my Parrish. Is it valid? Is it licit? Does it invalidate the Mass?

Verse 1: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Verse 2: Bread of life, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Verse 3: Saving cup, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Verse 4: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

I am fairly traditional and I don’t like anything out of the norm, but is this a big enough deal to be concerned about. By the way, I am not trying to hijack the thread. My impression is that this is the type of thing that the OP is speaking of. Sorry if I’m confused, but I would still like to know what others think abou tthis.

Folks, this thread is nearly six years old.

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