Responsorial Psalms

“… The psalms in the lectionary have been selected to help the assembly to meditate on and respond to the word that has just been proclaimed” – Celebrating the Mass #161

After the Gospel Acclamation priority for singing is given to the Responsorial Psalm. Through the psalm the assembly respond to the first reading, take the words of the response to heart (so often, the words of the response are in the first person singular) and prepare to hear the Gospel.

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The usual form for singing the psalm is responsorially – with a response sung by all and the verses sung by the psalmist/cantor. The psalm may also be sung in the ‘direct’ form where the assembly sings the whole psalm.

Simple contemporary settings

In terms of contemporary settings that work well with guitar-style accompaniment, resources are relatively limited. The settings offered here have been developed by our team over the years, sometimes in a workshop environment, sometimes as a one-off for particular occasions.

You’ll find three types of settings in this collection:

  1. A sung response with spoken verses
  2. A sung reponses with a Gelineau-style psalm tone
  3. More “lyrical” settings with response and through-composed verses

 “… if other ways of singing or sharing the psalms are appropriate, such as the use of a sung response with a recitation of the text, these too may be used, so that the people’s participation may be facilitated by every means”  ~ Celebrating the Mass #162

The recordings have be kept deliberately simple – little more than 2 guitars and 2 voices in most cases, to make them easy to learn and apply in your own context.

How to find the psalms

Use the Psalm Search  feature in the side bar to search by season and liturgical year. Or use the quick links below to get started:


We hope you find this resource useful and look forward to hearing from you in the comments below: