Fraction Rite and length of Agnus Dei
  • the GIRM says:
    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).

    my question is 'when is the fraction rite over' exactly? We had a discussion in liturgy commitee today about music for the Lenten season, and the DoM wants to do Massive Cremation of course, but substituting in the Latin Sanctus and Agnus Dei, out of the back of "Breaking Bread." After making this suggestion, the worry was then expressed that perhaps "only" 3 intonations of the words "Agnus Dei" might not give enough time to complete the Fraction Rite and could Agnus Dei be adapted in some way to be more like the "Jesus, Lamb of God" that goes on ad infinatum . . . I countered that when my small schola sings the Sung O.F. Mass ala the Gonzaga Schola, there is never any problem with having Agnus Dei intoned exactly 3 times, so why would it become an issue in this case?

    The DoM replied that according to the GIRM, the Agnus Dei is supposed to continue until the end of the Fraction Rite. Well, the way I read the Fraction Rite, it sounds like once the priest breaks the host and places a small piece of it into the chalice, the Rite is over.

    I found that the Diocese of Memphis had this to say about the issue:
    "When should the Lamb of God litany begin and end?
    The Lamb of God litany begins when the presiding celebrant first breaks the Consecrated Bread and
    continues until the all the vessels are prepared for distribution."

    I thought preparation of vessels should happen BEFORE the Fraction Rite, not after it, thereby eliminating the need for the long "Lamb of God Litany."

    Who is right?

    btw, I saw this in the parish bulletin the other week - "Communicants should receive the Holy Eucharist in the hand instead of on the tongue, because receiving in the hand demonstrates more "active participation" than receiving on the tongue."

    I kid you not . . .
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Darth, I forget, do you play organ for Masses? If you play, you could always improvise until the "feeding of the 40,000" is completed.
  • no, I don't play organ at all. I'm a double bassist and orchestra teacher. I discovered I could sing in the late 90's and just started singing liturgy after growing weary of the 4-hymn sandwich and Massive Cremation week after week. I discovered Ed Schaefer's sung Mass at Gonzaga and took it upon myself to learn how to do it and get it going in my own parish . . .
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    In our parish ( pretty good size, I forget the number)I never heard more than 3 times 'Lamb of God' last 10 years. If it's really a big Mass, it might be that vessels are prepared beforehand. (I forgot how they did in Papal Mass. If the preparation beforehand is allowed you might be right on this; " ----it sounds like once the priest breaks the host and places a small piece of it into the chalice, the [Fraction] Rite is over." Someone else can clarify on this. )

    What bothers me though is the endless shaking hands even after the 'Lamb of God' is started. Some people have to wave and nod their heads as many as they can while they are completely turning around 36o degrees. They completely ignore what's happening on the altar, and show greeting each other is the most important part of the Mass. Well, one of my book says inspite of all the distractions, I should be thankful and not get annoyed by those distractions, which I should do. (Sorry off the topic again.)
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Mia speaks the truth.
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    If there really is a strong concern that the Agnus Dei might end too soon, might I suggest some polyphonic setting (some are quite simple and appropriate even for small choirs), with only three invocations, but lasting long enough for the rite to be over?