Indeed thinking about their physical properties makes me wonder if the Agnus Dei can be related to the late Professor James Campbell’s suggestion that what became the Great Seal, and possibly others as well, was originally a separate wax disc to identify a bearer or messenger as authentic, and only later came to be attached to the document that he delivered.
The post has fascinating photographs from these Paschal blessings in 1939, 1959 and 1964, the last time the rite was celebrated. There is also a video link to film of the 1959 blessing.
One is, alas, once again left wondering at the cultural vandalism involved in abandoning such a venerable tradition. Like John Paul Sonnen I would wish that this ancient and historic rite were restored to the Papal calendar.
The post can be viewed at The Paschal Blessing of the "Agnus Dei" (Benedizione degli Agnus Dei nel Mercoledì di Pasqua)
Reading and looking at the images made me think about the virtual certainty that, as the Papal household attended the rite, on March 30 1418 when Pope Martin V would have blessed the Agnus Dei whilst still in Constance, amongst those present would have been his Chamberlains, one of whom was the future Bishop Richard Fleming.
I also recalled that Evelyn Waugh in researching his life of St Edmund Campion was deeply moved to be shown two Agnus Dei which had been found at Lyford Grange where the mission martyr was captured. Indeed possession of an Agnus Dei was incriminating evidence when priests were arrested in that time of persecution.