Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | December 20, 2008

Ecce, Agnus Dei (Posted Sept 07)

During Mass, after the singing of the Agnus Dei, (Lamb of God for those of you non-Latin fluent people), the priest says something like Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are we who are called to this table. We then reply “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
In Latin Jn 1, 29 says: ecce agnus Dei qui tollit peccatum mundi.
We as Catholic Christians believe that the bread and the wine are truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
We affirm this when we’re singing the Agnus Dei which in Latin is like this
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. 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.
We are not only repeating Jn 1, 29, but we affirm His divinity when we say miserere nobis, (have mercy on us), what i really want to focus on though is what we say after.
In Latin, the reply after the priest says Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are we who are called to his table it’s like this
Domine, nom sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum; sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea
Which the literal translation is: Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but say the word, and my soul shall be healed.
If these words sound familiar to you, they should. They’re the words of the Roman Centurion told to Jesus. The fact that we use these words during the Liturgy shows our humility to accept God’s forgiveness for our wrong doings, and also to accept the healing words of God in our lives 🙂
There will be a fix in the upcoming years of the words used in the American Mass to better match the Latin, which I’ve already shown you. I think it’s so interesting to see how the words of the Centurion can be used by us Christians. Kind of like mini act of contrition that we say before receiving Communion.
I love the words of the Responsorial Psalm from the other Sunday: Lord forgive the wrong I have done, as we prayed Ps 32 on forgiveness. This prayer has also become apart of what I like to call the Joe office of Prayers, to be published soon. I’m very deeply spiritual as all of you know. The way that my office is broken down into 4 readings (OT, Ps, NT, Gospel), and prayers that I have written, and some of the custom prayers that you’re used to. 🙂
So, something to think about when you’re in mass, that every time you say the words of the Centurion, that you’re acknowledging your sinfulness, and how you accept God’s forgiveness 🙂
Amen!

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