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:

26 thoughts on “Responsorial Psalms

  1. Hi CJM,
    Could you possibly put the psalms on the website a week before use. This would be helpful in order to leran them. The psalms that you have are fantastic. A book of the psalms would be even better.
    Thank you
    God Bless
    Peter Benson (Liverpool)

    1. Hi Peter,

      We fell behind a bit with the Psalms over the Summer. Sorry about that. We are working on getting back up to date and a few weeks ahead, so that you’ve got them in plenty of time to prepare.. Every blessing. JB

  2. Hi CJM

    We are really enjoying trying your psalms in our parish. It has made a really refreshing change for us to use with guitars.
    We have been asked to sing the sequences for Pentecost and Corpus Christi. I wonder if you may be planning to produce any music for either of these?

    Many thanks

    Moira Pratt (Gloucester)

  3. Hi CJM,
    Have you got a setting for the Corpus Christi Psalm. Thank you for last weeks Psalm, May Your Love Be Upon Us. Fantastic, beautiful a wonderful Psalm to use. I think the Parish have finally accepted that we are a Psalm singing parish. Thank you for the beautiful psalm settings to use.
    Hope Lourdes goes well. I used to visit Lourdes every year with the Liverpool pilgrimage from 1986 first with the Youth Service, then from 2001-2010 as part of LMG (Liverpool Music Group). Your music always played a vital part in the Lourdes experience with LMG. Thank you
    Take Care God Bless Peter Benson
    (Liverpool)

  4. Hello CJM, This is my first time on the discussion thread.
    We have a brand new church, and the dedication mass is on the 5th July.
    The psalm will be number 18 – “Your words are Spirit Lord and they are life”.
    I have one or two settings of this, but we have enjoyed the psalms you have written so much that I wondered if you have a setting of this one. I couldn’t find it in the lists.
    I saw you in Lourdes! Fantastic!

    1. Hi Margaret… The Psalm setting you are after isn’t available on our website yet, sorry. It occurs on the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary time in Year C and we haven’t quite gotten to that point yet in creating the resources fro download

  5. hello frendz ur doing a gd job would u plz sharewid me how to sing the psalm 77 its to be sung in our church on 14th setember 2014 on the feast of the Holy Cross. thank you Psalm and the antiphon as well

  6. Does anyone know where I can buy or download a recording of music (preferably with singing but just music would be fine) of the With Hearth and Voice Psalms written by Eugene E. Monaghan I.C. I have the book of sheet music for cantor and choir but it would be very helpful if I could hear the music also! Thanks if anyone can help.

  7. Hi Jo,
    Could you put the Psalm125 on the website, would like to use it in Advent. It is a CJM setting. I cannot find it in your back stock. I have the sheet music from your site, I would like to hear your recording again. Thank you.
    Take Care, Blessings, Peter Benson (Liverpool, Looking forward to your Margaret Mary’s concert)

    1. Hello, 2015 was indeed Year B, and so is this year 2018. The cycle repeats every three years (A, B and C). Although the posts were added to our website in 2015, they are the correct psalms for this current year B. Hope that helps. God bless.

      1. Dear sir

        My sincere thanks for the information which educative to lay people like me. I want to sing pslam every Sunday. If you can send can send me the lyrics and tune I can practice. In India and particularly in Catholic Church they recite the psalm. When I was in Canada I could listen the responsorial psalm.
        I request please forward.
        Warm regards

        Nathan

  8. Hi Bro/Sis. I am prepping Responsorial Psalm for Advent and Christmas for Year C and I would like to seek help with the Psalm for “The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joesph. Can you please help me?

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