What are the words we sing during the “Lamb of God” and what does it mean?
After the Sign of Peace we make final
preparations for Communion. The Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
come forward and gather behind the altar. While the priest distributes
the consecrated Hosts into the ciboria (bowls), one of the ministers
pours the Precious Blood into the cups.
The time it takes to perform this action is
variable so the music must be flexible too. Currently, at most of the
masses, we are singing “The Litany for the Breaking of the Bread.”
The cantor begins, “Agnus Dei, qui tollis
peccata mundi,” which means, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the
world.” We answer, “Miserere nobis; dona nobis pacem,” which means,
“have mercy on us; grant us peace.”
What is the significance of the boats under the crucifix?
The Environment Team explains: “They were
not meant to symbolize boats. It was simply an attempt to draw attention
to the victory of the cross with something that drew the eye upwards.
The Crucifix is a powerful symbol, so
powerful that during Lent we obscure it by covering it in purple, the
Lenten color. This helps us on our Lenten journey by creating a feeling
of mystery and reminds us that Jesus suffered and died for our sins.
Each of the stations of the cross is also emphasized during the season
with the use of purple fabric under each station. On Palm Sunday all the
purple is removed and the cross is covered with red overlaid with gold.
During Holy Week the Church is stripped of all adornments. On Good
Friday the new wooden cross, that Manuel Marky made, passed overhead,
allows us to feel and experience the wood of the cross. At the Easter
Vigil, on Holy Saturday, we celebrate the resurrection. We sing the
Gloria, the Alleluia and celebrate new life through the saving waters of
Baptism when the candidates are baptized into the Catholic Church. If
Jesus had not died on the cross we would not be celebrating new life
through his resurrection. The banners are a very simple way of reminding
us as to what Jesus did for us.” (April 24, 2005)