"O Lamb of God" - is it licit?
  • graduale
    Posts: 30
    Simple question...is it permissible to use the phrase "O Lamb of God" liturgically? No "Jesus, Lamb of God" or "Jesus, Bread of Life" or anything like that. Having the "O" would permit a plainsong adaptation to work a bit more nicely...

    Thanks very much!
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,121
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • As Anglicans have known for centuries, you are correct about the adaptability, both rhythmic and melodic, of that simple vocative 'O'. Too bad you are not allowed to alter or add to the official ritual text as given in the missal.
  • Graduale,

    It depends what you mean. Do you mean "could someone set the Agnus Dei with an extra added 'O'?"

    A narrow reading of the principle that no man may on his own recognizance in any way alter the liturgy would certainly conclude that what you propose is not allowed.

    A dynamic equivalent reading of the principle (the one which got us the 1970 translation in the first place) probably would object, but only because "O" reminds one of the Great Antiphons, which don't speak to the conditions of modern man.

    Do you merely need another syllable?
    Do you need fewer notes?
    Do you want to use one of the existing chant melodies already set in English by folks around here?
    Something else entirely?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,069
    Too bad you can't use the Anglican (and Ordinariate) first form: O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 92
    are you telling me 'Jesus, grain of wheat" is illicit ?
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,238
    Interesting that the Ordinariates have been allowed dynamic equivalence.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    On this note, was there ever an explanation given for "you take away" vs. "who takes away" or "that takes away", both of which seem closer to the Latin?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    The lack of relative clauses is annoying, because it takes away from the connection forged between the preceding noun ("Agnus Dei" and, in the Gloria, "Filius Patris."), and it also lightly changes the emphasis by telling God what he is, rather than asking God to do something because of what he is. This problem ran rampant through the old translation of the orations, and it's a tad annoying that the translators didn't see it as such in the Ordinary.

    The books which constitute Divine Worship aren't really dealing with dynamic equivalence, as a great deal of the sources, and the missal itself, are already in English. Besides, "O" is an English prenominal inflection for the vocative. It's not strictly necessary, though I think it might be more necessary than not when you use the relative clause, and since it aids the musical setting, it seems silly to omit it…