"New" Lamb of God in Missalette?

So we got our new Missalettes today - same one our very orthodox parish has used for years and years - and unless I’ve been totally oblivious, there are now TWO versions of the “Lamb of God” in there. The one I’ve always thought was the ONLY valid version (repeating “Lamb of Go” 3 times) and a new one that has as it’s words “Jesus Lamb of God”, “Jesus Bread of Life”, and “Jesus Prince of Peace”.

Anyone know anything about this?

You’re probably talking about the setting from Marty Haugen’s Mass of Creation. The approved translation of the Agnus Dei is “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the word, have mercy on us / grant us peace.” According to the rubric,
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).
Based on this alone, it seems like you should just repeat the first line until you eventually finish with the last line. However, the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy’s document Sing to the Lord contains this directive:
188. The supplicatory chant Agnus Dei accompanies the Fraction Rite. It 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).” 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).
So inserting other phrases (called tropes) seems to be permitted. (Sing to the Lord is not a canonically binding document, but it’s not a piece of trash either.) There’s no provision for beginning with “Jesus” – however, there’s also no provision for beginning with “Please sing the Lamb of God from #263 in your missallettes,” either.

Actually, the lower-making body cannot overrule what the supreme authority has stated. Sing to the Lord does not carry the necessary recognitio from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to make it a binding document. When the lower authority issues something that contradicts what the highest authority states, the highest authority overrules it.

Sign to the Lord, according to Liturgiam Authenticam, was supposed to have been sent to the CDWDS, but, it failed to get the necessary majority for this to happen. Thus, it makes suggestions, but, as you noted, it is not binding.

Our parish started that a while back, causing me to start the following thread:
Has your parish made changes to the Agnus Dei ?
You may want to check that out for a few more responses.


This is true. However, it’s not clear that there is necessarily a contradiction, unless I’ve missed some specific clarification from the CDW that the Agnus Dei cannot be troped in repetitions after the first.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate the stupid tropes, and the Agnus Dei from Mass of Creation, in particular, is terrible, terrible, terrible. Plus, as everyone knows, tropes belong in the Kyrie, not the Agnus Dei! :wink:

Here is ths reference from Redemptionis Sacramentum:

[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.

Now, unless the Fraction Rite is quite lengthy, there is certainly nothing wrong with repeating “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis” as needed. However, not even the Papal Masses have excessively long Fraction Rites. Marty Haugen, et al, have taken excessive liberties with the text. Furthermore, when the CDWDS released the Ordinary of the Mass, they specifically stated that paraphrases were not allowed nor additions to the text. In other words, composers have to use the texts as they are and work the music around the prayer, not the other way around.

I’m not just saying our parish uses this version on its own (although it has for years…), but it is in our Missalette…our parish uses a Missalette from the Sunday Missal Sevice, called ‘pray together’. It is supposedly approved by the USCCB and has an imprimatur. (according to the front cover). I’ve never known it to be incorrect, but this time around it has two versions of the “Lamb of God” (see my original post).

Does this mean the USCCB has approved thsi new wording (even thought they don’t have the authority to do so?)

Do any of your parishes use this missal/missalette and have you noticed what I’m talking about?

The USCCB has approved the tropes you mention. So has the CCCB (Canada’s conference) as they included Haugen’s Mass of Creation in the official Canadian Hymnal, the Catholic Book of Worship III.

Actually, I just received this in my email:

Although I am unaware if this modification has received any form of official approval, I do not believe that it is just a minor adaptation that can be approved by the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Divine Worship but rather a change that would require eventual approval from the Holy See. A minor change could be the triple repetition of this Amen, which is quite common even at the Vatican, or a small variation in the order of words that does not impinge on meaning. Adding words not in the original text would not usually be considered minor.

This comes from Fr. McNamara from Zenit. Sing to the Lord did not receive the necessary recognitio from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments because it failed to garner the necessary 2/3 vote of the Latin Rite bishops. Furthermore, when I brought a similar issue up to OCP, they stated that they had approval from the USCCB. I called the USCCB and after going to through many hoops, I was able to speak to someone in the Divine Worship Office and they told me that since they were a two-man operation, they don’t have time to go over everything. This led me to contacting the CDWDS and they told me that the settings had to match up to the text, word for word, regardless of the language. In fact, the CDWDS asked me to send them the ilicit settings so that they could take care of the problem. Fr. McNamara’s reply is consistent with what the CDWDS told me.

This topic is quite interesting. This past Saturday I attended the ordination Mass for seven new priests. The Agnus Dei want over for the longest time and the choir just kept repeating the first two lines until the very last moment when the completed it with the third line.

How could the fraction rite take that long? It does not even take that long at a Papal Mass. To the choir’s credit, if I read your post correctly, they repeated “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis”, which is what is supposed to be done.

I am not going to comment on how long things take. :smiley:

I just want to say the at the third verse I said “dona nobis pacem” and I was ready to kneel when the choir said “misere nobis” and everybody was still standing. I felt like an idiot.

You read it correctly, things were done the proper way and I was just pleased to share the fact that you do not have to change what is good just because it is repetitive. What is next, too many Hail Marys in a rosary?:smiley:

During Lent we used an Agnus Dei that had Lamb of God, Bread of Life and Agnus Dei. After the first week I noticed that we sang Lamb of God twice and then Agnus Dei for the final time. Our priest doesn’t mess around with these little innovations, he just says, “No, we can’t do that.” That was the end of it. :slight_smile:

Uuuugh…it’s just my opinion but I don’t think they should be changing the words to the Lamb of God. It shows a very poor understanding of the Mass, and I think it downplays the sacrifice Jesus made when you start singing other things besides “Jesus, Lamb of God”. The one I think that is in particularly bad is “Wine of Hope”–really? It is the Blood of Christ. I know they also sing Bread of Life sometimes but that is a quote from Jesus in the Bible. Wine of Hope–I don’t have any idea where they come up with that.

I wish they would just do Lamb of God. It is at such an important point during the Mass. Most people don’t understand the Mass as being the Sacrifice of the Lord and these new hippie lyrics don’t help.

Not true. The USCCB has not approved those changes to the Lamb of God. First, it never happened, and second if it were to happen, it would require the recognition of the Holy See to make changes to the ordinary of the Mass. The bishop’s committee on Liturgy took it upon itself to approve the change–not the USCCB, and that’s an essential distinction. Just like in Congress, a committee can’t pass a law on its own initiative, neither can the liturgy committee change the Mass on its own initiative.

So what can be done? I see pastors and “liturgists” across the country now saying this is legitimate because it has somehow made it into this very popular missal used across the country that touts the USCCB and an imprimatur. What in the world is wrong with our Bishops and their Liturgy Committee? Geesh. My hope for a renewed sacred and universal Mass with the new translation dwindles every day, because I know it will be revamped at every Bishop and pastor’s shim just like the Novus Ordo Mass is.

The simple thing to do is to not use them. It’s ilicit and should not be done. When the new translations were released two years ago (the Ordinary, that is), they carried a specific warning that paraphrases were not to be used. The music has to fit the text, not the other way around. In fact, that is what the CDWDS told me. The Haugen version of the Agnus Dei, and Bernadette Farrel’s Sanctus are ilicit because they take excessive liberties with the text.

Easier said than done on not using them. My pastor and liturgist will use this as “proof” that what they have been doing for years is correct. It really bothers me Sunday Missal would adopt this illicit version.

Then I would suggest that you refrain from singing them yourself and quietly pray the correct text. Have you considered addressing this issue with the priest in writing, quoting the revelent authoritative documents of the Holy See?

The best thing is to explain that a nihil obstat and an imprimatur are related to not going against Doctrine and they are not a guarantee of faithfulness to the GIRM. You can have both and still go against the GIRM. Ask them if the Nicean Creed is contrary to Doctrine and then ask them if it can be recited as part of the Eucharistic Prayer.

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