When to say/sing the Agnus Dei


I have seen different choir sing this at different point. One might sing at the breaking of the host, while other might sing this when the congregation finshed giving each other the sign of peace while the priest is still shaking hands with others.

I play music for multiple choirs, is it appropriate for me to instruct the choir for the correct moment to start singing the Agnus Dei, or should I just leave it the way it is so that the choirs can sing when they ready?



Dear dzung,

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal found in the front of the Sacramentary, #56, paragraph (e), states: “Agnus Dei: during the breaking of the bread and the commingling, the Agnus Dei is as a rule sung by the choir or cantor with the congregation responding; otherewise it is recited aloud. The invocation can be repeated as often as necessary to accompany the breaking of the bread. The final reprise concludes with the words, ‘grant us peace.’

The Kiss of Peace is not supposed to last long. It won’t if one is only greeting the persons on either side. It’s a symbol and not meant to be given to as many people as possible. When the priest breaks the host, begin singing! This should bring a close to those still visiting with their friends.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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