Agnus Dei Medallion Blessing
Updated: Apr 29, 2021
On the Wednesday of Easter week, the Canons Regular paid homage to an ancient tradition. Since at least the 6th century, the popes would bless wax medallions with an image of a lamb during Easter week which would then be given to the newly-baptized on Easter Saturday. For centuries, these wax images, or Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), would be made using wax from the previous year’s Easter candle. On Low Saturday, the neophyte would lay aside their white garments which had been worn all week since their baptism. The pope would then give each of them an Agnus Dei as a lasting reminder of their baptism and the light of Christ which now resided in them by this Sacrament. The image of the lamb is a symbol of Christ, our paschal sacrifice, Whose once-for-all sacrifice on the cross replaced the annual sacrifices of the Passover lambs.
The tradition of blessing the Agnus Dei fell into disuse in the 20th century. In honor of this tradition, the Canons Regular blessed wax medallions with an image of the Lamb of God made from Easter candles from parishes at which they serve. One of the brothers worked diligently over the past months to melt down candles and pour the images. Then, on Easter Wednesday, the Superior General blessed the images and dipped them in blessed water mixed with Chrism and balsam oil. They then were distributed to all those who came into the Church at the Easter Vigil at the parishes staffed by the Canons Regular, 49 people in all this year.