The use of Haugen/Haas psalms and the like
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 118
    Many of these psalms from Haugen/Haas (and many other composers within the GIA/OCP arsenal) change the wording of the prescribed text in the Lectionary and/or Revised Grail. Is there anything that speaks out against this practice? Are these compositions legitimate options for the responsorial psalm?
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    I think Haas has been banned in many places since he got his little haas into serious sex abuse trouble. I used psalm setting from WLP (now GIA for whatever good or ill that means) since the texts were accurate.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,691
    The GIRM specifies requirements for responsorial psalm texts. If the piece doesn't meet the requirements, it should not be used. We can't go replacing Scripture with something else.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,699
    It has been argued before on the forum that both these publishers enjoy the implicit approval of all their publications by the local Ordinary. OCP has the Ordinary as Chairman of the Board. They are consequently allowed anywhere in the USA, in accordance with the US GIRM. This applies nowhere else in the world, unless the relevant Conference of Bishops has formally approved them.
    [EDIT] This is not the natural meaning of the wording of GIRM, but there is a resolution of USCCB stating that if one diocesan bishop has approved they all automatically agree.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    Read GIRM para. 61.

    I don't use psalm-song paraphrases. My psalmists sing the exact text that's in the Lectionary for that Mass. We use the Respond & Acclaim settings, which are okay, but I encourage my more talented psalmists to embellish the verse tones.
  • pfreese
    Posts: 138
    The Haas/Haugen/Joncas “psalter” was originally intended to be used for the Liturgy of the Hours, which is much less strict of the texts authorized to use than the lectionary at mass. As such, every GIA hymnal since includes them in the front section of the hymnal set aside for LOTH. They’re not included in the lectionary section in the back, which uses whatever translation of the Grail that was current (and authorized) at the time. But despite this demarcation by GIA, many directors of music used the Haas et al settings for the lectionary psalms since they were meterical and more “folky” than Grail settings by Gelineau, Proulx, and others which had chant verses, and we all know how fashionable chant in any amount was in the last couple decades of the last millennium. That, and many DoMs and priests alike didn’t/don’t know or even care about the niceties of what texts they’re actually allowed to use at mass, they just cared about what sounded “nice.”
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    1. The texts of the Responsorial Psalm, when *sung*, may in the USA (this is a US-specific provision in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal) be those of any translation previously approved for liturgical use. That is, they are not limited to the Lectionary and Abbey Psalms and Canticles translations. Older approved translations (there are several) are grandfathered for this purpose and context.

    2. Paraphrases found in hymnals are not covered by the above. The practice of using such paraphrases was encouraged by publishers for copyright and permissions purposes, and tacitly tolerated, but was never licit.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,699
    GIRM(US) 61. ... or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.
    I don't see any restriction excluding 'paraphrases'. Anyway all translation is paraphrase "express ... using different words"
    NB I do not approve, and in any case I am not in the USA. The forum semi-resident authority is Fr Ron Krisman.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    Regarding pfreese's claim that the psalm-songs were originally intended to be sung at the Liturgy of the Hours or at prayer services, I disagree.

    Many of those psalms were originally published starting in the late 1980s in GIA's "Psalms for the Church Year" spiral-bound series, of which there may now be as many as a dozen volumes. The introductions and tables for use at the beginnings of those volumes clearly expressed that the psalms were intended for use at Mass and they noted that they could be used seasonally as a common psalm in place of the psalm of the day/Mass, which was/is permitted by liturgical rubrics.

    Only recently, as some bishops have become more strict about requiring the psalms adhere to the Lectionary text, have GIA and OCP justified continuing to publish psalm-songs at the front of their hymnals by saying they are intended for use at prayer services and liturgies other than Mass. But they know full well that many music directors still use them at Mass, and there's a lot of winking going on.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Proving chicanery and corruption are not just government prerogatives.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins CHGiffen
  • TimTheEnchanterTimTheEnchanter
    Posts: 167
    I think there's some grandfathering-in going on. I'm fairly sure any new responsorial psalms published by the big companies are now using the exact text, but they're letting the older paraphrases slide, and I think they'll work their way out. (Since Haas is unofficially banned from everything, that takes out a big chunk of them off the bat.)
  • pfreese
    Posts: 138
    Thanks for the added context MarkB, my comment came from a lecture by Haas and Joncas I once attended (All three of them are from Minnesota like me). GIA started separating their psalms no later than 1994 with the publication of Gather Comprehensive I, but that obviously didn’t stop music directors or priests from ignoring the distinction and programming them instead of authorized lectionary texts anyway.

    At least here in Minnesota, these once ubiquitous psalm settings were already well on their way out by the time David Haas’s scandal basically killed their project for good. Lot more chant and OCP up here now, and while the latter isn’t perfect, they’re at least sticking with the letter of approved texts.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 931
    To the OP: It is my understanding that paraphrased psalms are not permitted. (They aren’t at our parish, at any rate, and we specifically warn people who are choosing wedding and funeral music this is the case.)
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    AF Hawkins

    The US bishops, and no individual bishop so far as I am aware by diocesan legislation, has ever approved a metrical Psalter translation for liturgical use. We have an older thread about the extant approved translations:

    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/2992/update-on-gia-grail-usccb/p1
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,691
    There may be good reason to distinguish between the approval of a "suitable song" and the approval of something to be sung in place of Scripture.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,699
    Liam - GIRM(US) does not mention a Psalter but 'a collection of Psalms and antiphons'. So any collection in which some of the Psalms are arranged for a metred tune. Both OCP and GIA have those.
    I welcome the fact that some bishops are trying to get the stables cleaned before, I hope, bolting the door and re-stocking. I do not think either another complete metrical Psalter, nor a Gradual, neccessary or desireable, certainly not a good idea for the bishops to commission one.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 358
    We don't alter the other scripture lessons from what is in the Lectionary (I hope). Why would we do it for the Psalm? Hymn writers have been paraphrasing Psalms for centuries, yet I don't think we would dare suggest singing "All People that on Earth Do Dwell" when Psalm 100 is appointed, or "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" for Psalm 90 at the time for the Responsorial Psalm of the Mass, would we? If we can't sing "The King of Love My Shepherd Is" for Psalm 23, what makes "Shepherd Me, O God" OK?
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 931
    We don't alter the other scripture lessons from what is in the Lectionary (I hope).


    When I first arrived at my current parish we were using a "children's lectionary". It was real scripture but every single reading had been boiled down to about two sentences and the vocabulary was extremely limited. It was pathetic and I dug my heels in immediately (as I was charged with choosing the readings for daily mass since we weren't using the real lectionary). I detested any involvement with every fiber of my being. Mercifully we put the kibosh to it very quickly.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    This always amazes me. Bach, Mozart Palestrina, Schubert, Verdi and many other masters created the most immortal music using the mass, litany requiem and proper texts without altering a single word. But Haugen and the like? Oh no, they are more important artists and cannot be held to what the church requires. Shame! Ban it all!
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    something to be sung in place of Scripture.

    Isn't the Responsorial Psalm rather something read in place of the Gradual, historically considered? Even as the OF is currently disposed, the Psalm has an ambivalent role, at once a scare-quote '4th Lesson' and a congregational response to the 'real' Readings, more directly related to the Gospel Acclamation.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    there's a lot of winking going on

    The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:22-23