The Responsorial Psalm is meant to be sung – especially on a Sunday. And sung in such a way as to help “foster meditation on the word of God.” We need to actively encourage the skills of budding cantors and psalmists if we hope for a well-sung Responsorial Psalm to be the norm, rather than the exception.
The Common Responsorial psalms are a great place to start.
The many long weeks of Ordinary Time, provide the opportunity to use a Common Psalm setting over a number of weeks. It could perhaps be tied in with a homily series, or a thematic thread that might flow through the readings for several Sundays – as often happens in our sequential passages from the synoptic Gospels Sunday my Sunday.
Using fewer psalms, more regularly, also allows the psalmist – and the congregation – to gain confidence and be able to sing from their hearts.
The Common psalms for each liturgical season can be found towards the end of Volume I of the Lectionary, and can always be used in place of the given psalm of the day.
For Ordinary Time we are given a wide choice of not just entire Responsorial Psalms, but also common responses that can be used other psalm. So, for instance, you could use a common response as an alternative to the given response, but still use the given psalm of the day.
These three common responses for Ordinary Time can be used with verses from a psalm of praise:
- R/: O give thanks to the Lord for he is good.
- R/: We thank you, Lord, for the wonders of all your creation.
- R/: O sing a new song to the Lord
These three common responses for Ordinary Time can be used with verses from a psalm of petition:
- R/: The Lord is close to all who call him.
- R/: Pay heed to us, Lord, and save us.
- R/: The Lord is compassion and love.
There a nine options for entire common responsorial psalms that can be used anytime throughout the season or Ordinary. Here are the links to our accessible, contemporary settings – each one includes a free melody line PDF and MP3 audio: (click links below)
- Common Psalm 1 ~ “You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.” (Psalm 18:8-11 r. Jn 6:68)
- Common Psalm 2 ~ “The Lord is my light and my help.” (Psalm 26:4. 13-14 r.1)
- Common Psalm 3 ~ “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 33:2-7 r. 9)
- Common Psalm 4 ~ “For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord, my God.” (Psalm 62:2-6. 8-9 r. 2)
- Common Psalm 5 ~ “O that today you would listen to his voice!” (Psalm 94:1-2. 6-9 r. 7-8)
- Common Psalm 6 ~ “We are his people, the sheep of his flock.” (Psalm 99:2. 3. 5. r. 3)
- Common Psalm 7 ~ “The Lord is compassion and love.” (Psalm 102:1-4. 8.10.12-13 r.8)
- Common Psalm 8 ~ “I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.” for the last weeks of the year (Psalm 144:1-2. 8-11. 13-14 r.1)
- Common Psalm 9 ~ “I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.” (Psalm 121:1-9 r.1)
What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below…