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Agnus Dei
(330 words)

[German Version]

I. Liturgy – II. Music

I. Liturgy

Already at an early stage the Eastern Church describes the Eucharistic bread as Amnos (Lamb) and signifies the breaking of bread as Christ's sacrifice (John 1:29; Rev 5:6f.). The Syrian pope Sergius I (died 701) introduced the Agnus Dei – known from the Gloria and litany – as a frequently repeated chant for the breaking of bread. With the introduction of eucharistic wafers its use lapsed; the now three-fold acclamation changes to the Peace and closes with the petition “give us your peace.”

Cite this page
Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph and Flynn, W.T., “Agnus Dei”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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