Lamb of God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world.
Have mercy, have mercy, have mercy upon us.
Cordero de Dios, Cordero de Dios,
que quitas el pecado del mundo,
ten piedad, ten piedad, ten piedad de nosotros.
Source: Voices Together #151
|First Line:||Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world|
|Title:||Lamb of God|
|Latin Title:||Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi|
|Liturgical Use:||Agnus Dei|
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.
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)