How is following the Agnus Dei rubrics even possible?
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    GIRM 83:

    The supplication Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is usually sung by the choir or cantor with the congregation replying; or at least recited aloud. This invocation accompanies the fraction of the bread and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has been completed. The final time it concludes with the words grant us peace.


    If the congregation is replying, how are they supposed to know when the "final time" is? Is everyone just supposed to be aware of the end of the Fraction? For that matter, what is the reply? "Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis" or "miserere nobis?" The latter makes more sense but does anyone do this?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,422
    I don't know whether anybody does it but GS praenotandum #12 explicitly suggests tantum respondeat 'miserere nobis/dona nobis pacem' as an option. And, no I don't see it working, though it is easier than guessing which Eucharistic Acclamation we are supposed to sing/say.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,781
    Well, there are several standard solutions:

    1. A significant pause before the final clause.
    2. If there is instrumental accompaniment, a different cadence to lead to that final clause.
    3. Gesture by song leader.

    Et cet. They all work. It's a matter of developing a habitual cue.

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,033
    Does the expression "may be" give permission, without giving the obligation?
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  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    The way I understand it, the Agnus Dei must be repeated AT LEAST 3 times, accompanying the Fraction Rite, and only AFTER the host has been broken can "...dona nobis pacem," be said.
  • For how many parishes does the Fraction take longer than the Agnus Dei, sung 3 times?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,781
    It's most common in:

    1. Parishes where more bread-like (but still unleavened) bread is used and has to be fractioned. (This is what the rubric is likely envisioning, given that the use of such bread is commended.)

    2. Parishes where, contra Redemptionis Sacramentum, a flagon of wine is consecrated and portioned out in chalices after the anaphora. (This is, obviously, not what is envisioned....)
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  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    It ain't.
    As long as each presbyter/celebrant's whimsical dictates prevail...
    It ain't.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • It would seem to me that everyone (assuming they are, as they ought to be!, observant of the celebrant's ritual actions) would know by osmosis.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,031
    For how many parishes does the Fraction take longer than the Agnus Dei, sung 3 times?
    It doesn't in ours. I have never had to repeat it.

  • GerardH
    Posts: 80
    I have only once come across a parish which sang the Agnus more than three times, and that was because the musical setting used specifically includes a small interlude after the first Agnus, which signifies that it is to be repeated. The choice to sing it more than three times was more motivated by a desire to include that interlude than to extend the Agnus to cover a prolonged Fractioning Rite. In general I would think a congregation would be completely mystified if more than three invocations were sung.

    It does sound a lot like how Kyries were sung once-upon-a-time, before the nine-fold (or six-fold) structure was in place. The cantor and choir would just sing Kyrie after Kyrie until the celebrant indicated to bring it to a close, at which point the cantor would intone the final (melodically different) Kyrie.
  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 370
    I have seen a couple different solutions:

    Change key for the final time
    Use "Agnus Dei" to indicate the final time
    Use a setting in which the final "Lamb of God" is different than the first two
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 733
    Change key for the final time
    Use "Agnus Dei" to indicate the final time
    Use a setting in which the final "Lamb of God" is different than the first two

    These would still require the congregation to be "in the know."

    I assume that, otherwise, they'd sing "dona nobis pacem," and then just listen to the [in their rightfully bewildered minds] insane choir continue, as some stand and some kneel, whilst looking around to see if others think that it is time to assume that posture...
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  • rich_enough
    Posts: 759
    If the congregation doesn't know the piece, how could they be singing int he first place?. If they did know the piece, they'd know the cues to sing the final ending.

    I think what usually happens is that the people are singing along, and if they hear the choir/cantor singing "do-" or "gra-" instead of "mi-" or "ha-" they follow suit. There may be some confusion at first but I would think it would mostly clear up after a few weeks at most.
  • It is said to "accompany" the fraction -- this is an interpretation, not a rule. It doesn’t have to be micro-managed. Considering that we have been singing the Agnus three times for most of a thousand years, why not just keep doing that?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,422
    And choose from the innumerable possibilities something that is going to be about the right length, possibilities certainly range from under 30 sec to several minutes.
  • I shall amend my post.

    For how many parishes, places where ideology requires the singing continue until the choir or priest is sick of the music being excepted, does the Fraction take longer than the Agnus Dei, sung 3 times?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,422
    It is possible to buy 9" wafers which break 'easily' into 69 pieces, this is envisaged by GIRM which says that a deacon can assist the celebrant with the fraction. I have no idea how many churches use them, but the fraction probably takes longer than 30 seconds.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    There is always the instance, for example, when the singing of the Agnus Dei begins, but the priest is redistributing the hosts in the ciboria so that there is an even amount in each. This can take some time, and in the case of our parish, the priest usually does this before he performs the Fraction. This actually happened at a recent graduation Mass: the organist began the Agnus Dei, but the priest was still reorganizing the ciboria, and the Fraction actually happened after the singing had stopped.
  • At our Ordination yesterday, the fraction itself was relatively quick, but hosts had to be distributed to all of the concelebrating priests (60-70?). The bishop didn't genuflect, "ending" the fraction until all had received, so the music didn't cover the entire time (A Community Mass).

    My personal experience is that, excepting diocesan liturgies, the Lamb of God has always covered the entire fraction. Some settings we use have provision to handle lengthening—such as Mass of Redemption, where the melody for the final time is different.

    Marc
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,306
    Obviously, you're supposed to use random Christological invocations and then everyone knows it's the last time when you finally get back around to "Lamb of God." Bonus points for inserting subtle progressive agenda theology into your invocation choices.
  • I question your assertion, Adam. (Does your tongue be in cheek?) Using 'random Christological invocations' is troping, which has been forbidden by our bishops. (This would be one of their wiser forbiddings.) The forbidding is intended precisely to exclude the insertion of 'subtle progressive theology into [the] invocation choices', as well as personal and subjective themes (and axes for to grind).
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,781
    The use of alternate tropes was never needed to effectively prolong the litany and end with its ultimate line - one can effectively prolong it to cover a prolonged fraction (which does happen if you're not only consecrating single serving hosts) without such tropes. It was not rocket science.
  • If the congregation is replying, how are they supposed to know when the "final time" is?


    Yet another example of bishops not understanding things about which they were given jurisdiction to legislate. This, and the aforementioned Memorial Acclamation mess, and the Gospel Acclamation for that matter, indicates that the bishops charged with developing the GIRM said, "wouldn't it be great if the congregation did x or y or z at this point?" without understanding that adding such spontaneous options removes predictability, thereby destroying any chance at active participation.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I have one solution that resolves all of this confusion.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,559
    I have one solution that resolves all of this confusion.


    As Kermit the Green Chironomist once said, "This Ti-Do!"
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    I've taken Adam Wood's suggestion and composed a litany that solves this problem:

    Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
    Jesus, protector of day laborers, have mercy on us.
    Son of God, comfort of LGBT youth, have mercy on us.
    Risen Lord, defender of the living wage, have mercy on us.
    Christ the King, sustainer of renewable energy, have mercy on us.
    Our Savior, provider of universal single-payer health care, have mercy on us.
    Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

    Feel free to use it at your parish. You're welcome.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,031

    Feel free to use it at your parish. You're welcome.


    LMAO! They would crucify me. Hahaha
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 649
    At my parish, the Angus Dei is mostly used to signal the end of the sign of peace.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 292
    At my parish 3 times does usually cover the entire rite, the smaller hosts being evenly distributed in the smaller ciboria before Mass begins, and in any case is what is expected of me. Depending on the setting used (especially if it's Agnus XVIII) it may not cover the priest's "Domine Jesu Christi..." / "Perceptio Corporis..." but that doesn't seem to bother him.