The Responsorial Psalms during Lent are a beautiful soundtrack for this season of repentance, reconciliation and renewal.
From Ash Wednesday through to the fifth Sunday of Lent they serve to:
- Remind us of our own sinfulness – “my offences truly, I know them; my sin is always before me…” (Ps 50:5)
- Call us to turn to God with open hearts – “O today listen to his voice, harden not your hearts…” (Ps 94:8)
- Proclaim God’s unending mercy – “if you, O Lord should mark our guilt, who would survive?” (Ps 129:3)
If you aren’t already singing the Psalms regularly in your school or parish, the season of Lent is a great time to start. Here are the links to accessible, contemporary settings that have been tried and tested.
- Ash Wednesday ~ “Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Psalm 50)
- 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A ~ “Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Psalm 50)
- 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year A ~ “May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.” (Psalm 32)
- 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A ~ “O that today you would listen to his voice: ‘Harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 94)
- 4th Sunday of Lent, Year A ~ “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. (Psalm 22)
- 5th Sunday of Lent, Year A ~ “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” (Psalm 129)
Of course, the Psalms can be prayed and sung outside of Mass too – so get creative with your use of these settings. You can use them for morning prayer and assembly; in the classroom or staffroom, during Children’s Liturgy of the Word even during your Lent Reconciliation Services.
How do you plan to use the Psalms during Lent? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below…