AGNUS DEI: THE FRACTION, COMMINGLING AND THE “LAMB OF GOD”
This part of the Mass includes 3 rituals:
The breaking of bread
The commingling of the Body and Blood of Christ
The recitation of the “Lamb of God”
The Breaking of Bread: The breaking of the bread is to describe the Eucharist. It is a rich symbolism in the ritual of many people partaking of the same loaf of bread. This points to the deep unity Christians share when we partake of the one Body of Christ: The bread which we break is the participation in the body of Christ. Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
The commingling of the Body and Blood of Christ : After breaking the host, the priest places a small piece into the chalice while quietly saying, “May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it. “ This is used at one time to express the unity of the Church. In Rome, the pope had a small particle of the consecrated host called the fermentum (leaven) sent to priests in the city, who placed it in their chalices as a sign of their union with the bishop of Rome. Some have interpreted this ritual as a symbol of re-enacting Christ resurrection. The separate consecrations of bread and wine in the Mass symbolizes the separation of Christ’s body and blood in his death, whereas the commingling rite expresses the reunion of Christ’s body and blood in the resurrection.