Lamb of God Prayer


#1

Is it acceptable to alter the words of the “Lamb of God”? Our parish sings the prayer and will often insert their own words in place of the words, “Lamb of God”.


#2

The use of “tropes” in the Lamb of God – saying “Prince of Peace”, “Bread of Life”, etc., in the place of “Lamb of God” – is a hot topic. The Church does not permit it, because the words of the Agnus Dei are not to be changed, since it is part of the “Ordinary” of Mass.


#3

From GIRM

  1. …The supplication Agnus Dei, is, as a rule, sung by the choir or cantor with the congregation responding; or it is, at least, recited aloud. This invocation accompanies the fraction and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion, the last time ending with the words dona nobis pacem (grant us peace).

The Other Formulas in the Celebration

  1. Since the celebration of Mass by its nature has a “communitarian” character,45 both the dialogues between the priest and the faithful gathered together and the acclamations are of great significance;46 in fact, they are not simply outward signs of communal celebration but foster and bring about communion between priest and people.
  2. Finally, concerning the other formulas,:
    (b) Others accompany another rite, such as the chants at the Entrance, at the Offertory, at the fraction (Agnus Dei), and at Communion.

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

(see note at the end of this one)
390. It is up to the Conferences of Bishops to decide on the adaptations indicated in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass and, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, to introduce them into the Missal itself. These adaptations include

The gestures and posture of the faithful (cf. no. 43 above);

The gestures of veneration toward the altar and the Book of the Gospels (cf. no. 273 above);

The texts of the chants at the entrance, at the presentation of the gifts, and at Communion (cf. nos. 48, 74, 87 above);

The readings from Sacred Scripture to be used in special circumstances (cf. no. 362 above);

The form of the gesture of peace (cf. no. 82 above);

The manner of receiving Holy Communion (cf. nos. 160, 283 above);

The materials for the altar and sacred furnishings, especially the sacred vessels, and also the materials, form, and color of the liturgical vestments (cf. nos. 301, 326, 329, 339, 342-346 above).

(I included this to show that the words in the Agnus Dei do NOT fall under this category)


From Redemptionis Sacramentum

The Other Parts of the Mass

  1. 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.

From the latest Sacramentary © 1985

BREAKING OF THE BREAD
The following is sung or said:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.

This may be repeated until the breaking of the bread is finished, but the last phrase is always, “Grant us peace.”

Any questions?


#4

No questions, just a statement: The USCCB, in its latest document on music, have said that adding tropes to the Agnus Dei is OK.

I don’t recall ever hearing the Agnus Dei troped until Haugen’s Massive Cremation ( of which my parish sings the EP acclamations & this litany exclusively) but that may have just been the luck of the draw.


#5

My parish for about the last year has been saying bread of life. We just recently returned back to Lamb of God.


#6

This is correct. The bottom line is that this practice IS allowed currently.

If the USCCB issued a document - even one without the force of law - and the Holy See took exception with something in it, that document would not be published with that part in it. It’s as simple as that. “Sing to the Lord” says that this practice is allowed. That’s good enough for me.


#7

This is faulty logic. Reference “Sing to the Lord”, the latest USCCB document. If Rome didn’t want this to be done, the bishops would have been told to remove the statement that it is allowed.


#8

Too bad the USCCB never sent that document to Rome for approval. That document only has the force of the documents it quotes. What does it quote for permission to change “Lamb of God” to other phrases?


#9

This is what causes confusion.
The “latest document on music” is “Sing to the Lord” 11-14-2007

This does NOT say anything about “adding tropes” to the Agnus Dei. I am not saying that you have purposefully distorted the truth, only that you have either misunderstood or have been led to misunderstand.

What it does state is that there are times when the fraction rite may take longer. In those cases, the Agnus Dei may be sung repeatedly. If that is the case; “When the Agnus Dei is sung repeatedly as a litany, Christological invocations with other texts may be used. In this case, the first and final invocations are always Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).”


#10

Er, isn’t that what we were just discussing? Adding Christological invocations such as:

Jesus, Bread of Life, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Jesus, Prince of Peace, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

In other words, tropes “a collective name which, since about the close of the Middle Ages or a little later, has been applied to texts of great variety (in both poetry and prose) written for the purpose of amplifying and embellishing an independently complete liturgical text” Catholic Encyclopedia. Rome has not approved this document.


#11

That’s what we’re referring to. If we’re misusing the term “trope”, we apologize. We very well might be, since the Catholic Encyclopedia shows this as an example of trope usage:
Thus in France and England, instead of the liturgical text “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth” the lines sung were:

  1. Sanctus ex quo sunt omnia;
  2. Sanctus, per quem sunt omnia;
  3. Sanctus, in quo sunt omnia; Dominus Deus Sabaoth, tibi gloria sit in saecula.
    So what we’re talking about is changing the words of the chant.

“Sing to the Lord” oversteps the bounds set by the GIRM (in a way which I don’t think a Bishops’ Conference is permitted to), which says this: “The supplication Agnus Dei … accompanies the fraction and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion, the last time ending with the words dona nobis pacem (grant us peace).” (GIRM 83) It says nothing about changing the introduction of the supplication from Agnus Dei to anything else. It says nothing about changing the words at all!


#12

Just to be clear.

Sing to the Lord auggests that other Christological invocations may be used when repeating the Agnus Dei. This suggessts that the full rite has already been accomplished Lamb of God (3 x)

That said, I STILL do not believe that Sing to the Lord or any other publication is truly authorized to make such changes.

No Vatican text I have found leaves this to interpretation of the local Bishop.

If you do find one, please share it.


#13

No, because the Agnus Dei ends with “Agnus Dei … dona nobis pacem”. When that is said, it is over. Before that, you can say “Agnus Dei … miserere nobis”. You must say that at least twice, but you can say it more times if necessary. The last “verse” is “Agnus Dei … dona nobis pacem”. That’s how the chant is written.

What “Sing to the Lord” n. 188 says is “When the Agnus Dei is sung repeatedly as a litany, Christological invocations with other texts may be used. In this case, the first and final invocations are always Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).” This is unclear! Does it mean that when the elongated version of the Agnus Dei is used (when the Fraction Rite takes longer), it is being “sung repeatedly as a litany”? It doesn’t say! It could merely be interpreted as saying “when this chant is used elsewhere as a litany, other Christological invocations may be used”.


#14

In our parish, we have started to use the Mass of Creation again (we change things up every several months or so). Instead of the usual “Jesus Lamb of God”, the cantors are now singing “La-a-amb of God”. Not sure if the mandate came from the pastor or elaswhere.


#15

I have discontinued the Mass of Creation for the Agnus Dei alone. When I became Catholic, the parish I joined used alternate invocations. I decided this summer, that with the other upcoming changes, now would be a good time to correct any irregularities. I am discontinuing all alternate invocations and have persuaded my counterparts to do the same. I do not know exactly what the USCCB intends, but I will err on the side of caution since I know what the Vatican intended.

BTW - The Agnus Dei (Latin) is also going to be our second stage of incorporating Latin back into the liturgy, the first being the Pater Noster.


#16

I am going to slowly wade into this discussion and add my two-cents, for whatever it is worth. Sing to the Lord was supposed to have had its basis in the document Liturgicam Authenticam. LA was promulgated by the Holy See as the document overseeing all liturgical translations for the Church, at least, as far as the Latin Rite is concerned.

  1. A great part of the liturgical texts are composed with the intention of their being sung by the priest celebrant, the deacon, the cantor, the people, or the choir. For this reason, the texts should be translated in a manner that is suitable for being set to music. Still, in preparing the musical accompaniment, full account must be taken of the authority of the text itself. Whether it be a question of the texts of Sacred Scripture or of those taken from the Liturgy and already duly confirmed, paraphrases are not to be substituted with the intention of making them more easily set to music, nor may hymns considered generically equivalent be employed in their place.39

Now, here is what Cardinal Arinze wrote in the letter that accompanies the approved new translation of the Order of the Mass (that is to take effect in Advent 2010):

Instead, the granting now of the recognitio to this crucial segment of the Roman Missal will provide for the pastoral preparation of priests and deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of new musical settings for the parts of the Mass, bearing in mind the criterion set forth in the instruction Liturgicam Authenticam, n. 60, which requires that musical settings of liturgical texts use only the actual approved texts and never be paraphrased.

I placed note 60 above the quote so that we could see the reasoning behind this statement.

I hope this serves to clarify the concerns that the OP had.


#17

I apologize if I am re-hashing the same subject, but I’m looking for clarification. I know we’re not supposed to sing “Bread Of Life” or “Prince Of Peace”, etc. Can we still have the word “Jesus” before “Lamb of God”? In two NEW Mass settings I purchased, both versions had the lyrics “Jesus, Lamb of God.”

Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks!


#18

I don’t believe that is permitted either for the same reasons mentioned in this thread and if you take a look at a thread I started here. I know one parish that does that and it makes me cringe. Marty Haugen has a new version that is just “Lamb of God,…” I don’t know why they don’t use that one instead.


#19

There is ONE time where the Lamb of God is altered from the normal wording. That change occurs ONLY in the Extraordinary Form and for a Requiem Mass (for the dead). In that instance, the Agnus Dei is as follows:

Agnus Dei, qui tollit peccata mundi, dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei, qui tollit peccata mundi, dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei, qui tollit peccata mundi, dona eis requiem sempiternam


#20

[quote="Phemie, post:4, topic:125137"]
No questions, just a statement: The USCCB, in its latest document on music, have said that adding tropes to the Agnus Dei is OK.

I don't recall ever hearing the Agnus Dei troped *until Haugen's Massive Cremation *( of which my parish sings the EP acclamations & this litany exclusively) but that may have just been the luck of the draw.

[/quote]

Heh heh. :p


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