Agnus Dei

Overview

What a great song to use in worship. I am extraordinarily partial to the Third Day rendition of this song which uses a bass guitar swinging up and down in the octaves of the bass line with the addition of strong distorted electric guitars and four-on-the-floor drums.

Keys

If playing acoustic with fewer instruments to embellish, I’ll use the root key of G for a male vocalist. But the key of A helps to stretch the voice to its limit while not forcing a male vocalist to dance all over his vocal break.

No recommendation on female lead for this song.

Use in Worship

I love using this song in concert with “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” The themes are beautifully intertwined and the keys match very well. I will sing through the verse and chorus of “Agnus Dei” and then a verse of “Holy, Holy, Holy,” alternating back and forth. I know Third Day tags this song with another song, which would be great to use as well. I have not tried it yet.

Since it is so imminently worshipful, this is a good second song to move into a fuller worship experience. It is high energy.

Another extraordinary marker for this song is that it is absolutely ascriptive in nature. Ascriptive worship is that which focuses only on the person of God to the exclusion of even the worshiper. It is pure worship based on God’s unequaled qualification of being holy.

Scriptural References

The crucial passage referred by this song comes from the fifth chapter of Revelation. John despairs for a moment that no one can be found who is worthy to open the scrolls to advance the kingdom of Heaven. Then John is comforted by the image of the Lion of Judah, victorious and worthy.

And then heaven explodes in worship around the Lamb. It is an image of the lamb provided by God as a propitiatory sacrifice on behalf of mankind.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing (Rev 5:12 ESV)

You see this song taken up by thousands upon thousands of the angels of God, celebrating the primacy of Christ and His worthiness alone. The four living creatures surrounding the throne sounded their assent to this call and then all of the elders gathered in power and authority hit their faces in worship.

Wow!

Lyrics

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns!
Hallelujah!

Holy! Holy! Are You Lord God Almighty!
Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb!
For You are holy! Holy! Are You Lord God Almighty!
Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb

Amen. [1]


  1. Michael W. Smith, “Agnus Dei,” Sony/ATV Music Publishing, 1990. CCLI# 626713

Categories: Worship

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