Psalm options on weekdays during the year
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    I teach in a Catholic school and attend mass on Thursdays with our middle school students. I'm wondering as we try to find appropriate music for our students to sing, what options are there for the psalm? I noticed in the Graduale that weekdays other than feasts have no assigned chants. I know that one could chant the responsorial psalm from the lectionary or sing a seasonal psalm. I have a feeling that it used to be one chanted the propers from Sunday of that week. Is this true? Or are there arrangements of weekday psalms anywhere to be found?
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    I think I've answered my own question:
    GIRM 61 In the dioceses of the United States of America, the following may also be sung in place of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary for Mass: either the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, as found either in the Roman Gradual or Simple Gradual or in another musical setting; or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of the psalms and antiphons, including psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the responsorial Psalm.

    I understand this to mean that really in practice ANY psalm can be sung. However, doesn't the GIRM confuse the Lectionary and the Graduale here? To say you can choose "the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, as found either in the Roman Gradual or Simple Gradual" doesn't make sense since the Lectionary's responsorial psalm is never set as the Gradual chant.

    I suspect I'm just now catching on to the already known sloppiness in liturgical documents. Forgive me if this is repetitious.
  • I've wondered about this comment too, but as I don't have regular access to a lectionary I wasn't sure exactly what all the options are that it contains.

    My understanding is also that in terms of the weekday masses without assigned propers, the propers from the previous Sunday are used. Would love to know whether this is correct. Weekdays of Lent have propers assigned.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    When I play weekday Masses at our Catholic High school, I use Seasonal Psalms and it works AMAZINGLY well.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    Jeff, I chuckled when I saw that you were the most recent poster, thinking to myself, "I wonder if that's a pitch for Chabanel Psalms?" :)

    Indeed, I was perusing your site earlier today and the more I look at the seasonal psalms the better I like it. The one thing I wonder is if the repetition doesn't wear after a while. But of course the ordinary repeats each week too without complaint and the repetition helps the students learn. And also you've included different harmonies. AND one could easily point the proper lectionary psalm to chant with a familiar antiphone. I'll re-mention it to our middle school music man (not me, I teach science).

  • We happen to celebrate our all-school mass at Saint Edward on Thursdays,
    unless a major feast day occurs on another day. Our pastor, Fr. Jeff Keyes
    is in the process of arranging the appointed lectionary psalms for each Thurs
    from the Psalterium Monasticum, using a traditional psalm tone for a season.
    We started in Sept w/ Tone 8, Advent- Tone 2, and are now using Tone 7.
    This way the children become acquainted w/ the traditional psalm tones with-
    out pushing too much, too soon. Example: Thursday of the 1st Week of Year
    we will sing Psalm 95 from the Weekday Lectionary.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Hi, Dan.

    If the title has "Psalm" in it, and I post, odds are it will be about St. Noël. ;-)

    Honestly, though, every day I post marvelous Psalms from many skilled composers (Fr. Jeff Keyes is a Chabanel composer) and I want everyone to see what these magnificent folks have made available for free.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205

    That sounds like a great project and if any arrangements become available I'd love to see them. If I may ask, why the choice of the Psalterium Monasticum?
  • Dan,
    Do you have the Meinrad fonts? If so, tomorrow, when I get to the office,
    I'll send a copy of the Setting for Thursday 1/15.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,031
    I have been using the Chabanel common Psalms (along with some Gelineau common Psalms, etc.) for school Masses at my new job since the fall. I have to say, I think that is the way to go. I hope, over time, that we will learn enough refrains that we will be able to more closely match the Lectionary, but that will take a while.

    A few questions/observations: 1) are the Psalms for weekday Masses indexed anywhere for repetition, etc.? I would be really interested in this, with the goal to learn the ones most frequently used so that a repertoire, if you will, can be built. 2) The biggest obstacle for me is getting people on board with Psalm tones for verses. The kids, once they learn that the tones are used so that the text will be more clearly heard, buy it. The teachers, all of whom are not from our parish, have a harder time with it. They, like most who are used to the OCP fare, seem to be accustomed to through-composed Psalms, whose texts are often "edited" by the composer (read: inclusive language/distortion of text). I know it will just take time, but I have the feeling that if the administration/teachers/etc. would get behind me (and ultimately, the liturgical documents) on this, the kids would benefit from learning to pray the Psalms much better.

    What are your thoughts on this? Also, is anyone using Psalms in place of the 4-hymn sandwich at daily Masses? If so, how do you go about that? The "Psalter" in Breaking Bread is a little lacking, to be kind about it.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    Anthony Ruff O.S.B has published a decent collection of psalms for every weekday of the year set to gregorian modes. Verses are given for both the NAB and Grail versions.

    There's also a link on there to a free sample download of seasonal psalm settings.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Someone should review Ruff's book for Sacred Music. Jeff O?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    "These responsorial psalms were conceived for unaccompanied singing led by a single cantor, but keyboard accompaniments and guitar chords are provided for those who desire it."


    Actually, I would love to review a copy of it, because I would get a free copy! Which I would very much enjoy.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205

    I do have Meinrad fonts.