O Lamb of God

Full Text

Latin:
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

English:
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Notes

Scripture References:
st. = John 1:29, Matt. 20:30

The Agnus Dei is an ancient church text that developed from John the Baptist's salutation of Christ: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1 :29; Isa. 53:7; Rev. 5:6-14). By the late seventh century this Latin text was introduced into the Roman Catholic Mass at a point just prior to the reception of communion. In the tenth century the Agnus Dei's third clause was changed to its present wording, "dona nobis pacem" ("grant us peace").

The translation of the text into German included the uniquely Lutheran addition of "Christe" to the beginning of each clause. This translation was first published in Low German in 1528 in Johannes Bugenhagen's manual Der Erbarn Stadt Brunswig Christlike Ordeninge. The English version in the Psalter Hymnal is an adaptation of the Lutheran text mixed with a translation provided by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, a Roman Catholic group that has been active ever since Vatican II (1962-¬65). In any language the text is a profound but short prayer for mercy and peace.

Liturgical Use:
Lord's Supper; Lent, though traditionally used in any season; service of confession and forgiveness.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
==============================
Agnus Dei Qui tollis peccata mundi. The use of this modified form of part of the Gloria in Excelsis (q. v.), founded on John, i. 29, seems to be referred to in the rubric for Easter Eve in the Sacramentary of St. Gelasius, A.D. 492. In the time of Pope Sergius I. [687-701] it was ordered by him to be sung at the Communion of priest and people…Anastatius Bibliothecarius records this in Historia de Vitis Bomanorum Pontificum. It is the opinion of Bona that Pope Sergius ordered it to be sung thrice; Le Brun, on the contrary, thinks it was only sung once. In the 11th century the last clause of its third repetition, "miserere nobis," began to appear as "dona nobis pacem” and a little later in Masses for the dead, the last clause, instead of "dona nobis pacem,” runs as a special prayer for the departed, "dona cis requiem sempiternam." This occurs also in the English Missals of Sarum, York and Hereford, and is the universal custom of the Roman Church at the present day, which also repeats the words, "Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce Qui tollis peccata mundi,” as the priest turns to deliver the sacramental wafer to the people.
According to the Sarum Use the Agnus Dei was incorporated in the Litany, but only to be sung twice, and the third clause is placed first….

Translations in common use:—
0 Lamb of God, that takest away, &c. By G. Moultrie. This metrical arrangement of the Agnus Dei was first published in the Church Times, July 23, 1864, and his Hymns and Lyrics, 1867, p. 118, in 3 stanzas of 5 lines, and in 1872 was transferred to the Hymnary, with slight alterations in the last stanza. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

[Agnus Dei] (Merbecke)


CHRISTE, DU LAMM GOTTES

The chorale tune CHRISTE, DU LAMM GOTTES was published as the setting for the Agnus Dei in Bugenhagen's 1528 manual. The tune name comes from the opening words in the German text. Ulrich S. Leupold, editor of Martin Luther's hymns and liturgies (vol. 53 of Luther's Works, 1965), suggests that Luther…

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Timeline

Instances

Instances (16)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #790Text
Gather Comprehensive #184
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #555TextImageAudioFlexscore
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #602TextImageAudio
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #603TextImageAudio
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #604TextImageAudio
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #S163TextImage
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #S159TextImage
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #S158TextImage
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #S157TextImage
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #257TextImageAudioScore
Renew! #216TextImage
Sing With Me #158Text
Songs for Life #44Text
The United Methodist Hymnal #30TextImage
The Worshiping Church #833TextImage



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