Responsorial Psalm, method of singing, rubrics
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,158

    I was wondering if anyone had to hand the General Introduction of the Lectionary for Mass, and could point me in the right direction:

    After a year of experimenting with the use of the Gradual (from the Graduale Romanum) and the Psalmus Responsorius (from the Graduale Simplex), I will be moving back to a greater use of the Lectionary Psalms, while retaining the Gradual for certain "Red Letter" days (like "Haec dies" on Easter Sunday), and the Simplex Psalms for the Triduum and other days.

    My question is, does the GILM permit the Responsorial Psalm from the Lectionary to be sung in the same manner as the Psalmus Responsorius from the Graduale Simplex, that is, with the Respond sung after each verse, rather than after each strophe? (I believe that Collegeville's "Psallite" collection does this, but I haven't seen the book in person.)

    After using all methods, I do believe that for sung Responsorial Psalms the performance practice of the Simplex is the more logical, traditional, organically developed, and, if you'll excuse the phrase, pastoral manner of performance; while at the same time, the connections with the readings with the Lectionary Psalms and the proper Graduals is often preferable to the seasonal Psalms of the Simplex; and the melismatic music of the Graduals more conducive to meditation. (At some point, I would like to experiment with a form that combines the best aspects of each of these forms.)

    Thanks for your help.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,131
    Salieri here is a link to the GILM
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • a form that combines the best aspects of each of these forms.

    You want the wing-span of a condor, the hearing of a dolphin, the neck-flexibility of an owl, the shell of a turtle, the fins of swordfish, the nose of an elephant, the neck of a giraffe, the proportions of both a blue whale and a virus, and the smile of a Cheshire Cat?

    All teasing aside, though, would a form which combines the best aspects of the others retain any good qualities, or would it just be too much?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,158
    Thus why it would be an experiment. It's in the nature of experiments to fail, but things can be learned from failed experiments, too.
  • My experience: it's technically allowed, it may be disapproved by PiP, priest. Chancery, or (in my case) the national office that produced the lectionary. Because different, unusual, not what it says, not what the Holy See approved. etc etc

    I agree warmly that the Simplex method of responsorial psalmody is... all that you said. Other PiP have said how enjoyable, exciting, interesting etc it is to respond quickly, to have a musical dialogue with the Cantor, to hear the same response for multiple verses (like in the Benedicite or the Benedictus es.)

    But that said: some of the proper responses in the Lectionary are well suited to this, such as Year A Trinity or the last few ordinary Sundays of Year A. The responses are short and comment on every line of the Psalm.

    In other cases perhaps the response is a little too long. "O that today you would listen to the voice of the Lord: do not harden your hearts" (33A) or indeed "This is the day the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad" still proper to Easter Sunday. I think those are better kept for the meditative style more like the graduals.

    When I set these during 2010-2011, I used something a little more like the Simplex, for the short ones, and tried to use snippets of Graduale melodies for the long ones. But I was also trying to stick to the CBW style (two Rs at the start. then VVR repeat) for everything.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,158
    Yes, I agree. Of course, in Eastertide "Alleluia" is an option (at least in the USA) for the Psalm response, so that isn't a problem. The Seasonal responses (which were intended to aid in singing the Responsorial Psalm) are better suited to the Simplex method.
  • The Psalms in the Lectionary (also see the OLM) are laid out in a way that prevents the singing of a response after each verse. The verses are organized in groups of usually two verses or four lines of text. Tomorrow for example (Advent 2, Year A): Psalm 72(71), 2. 7-8. 12-13. 17

    However, imo the rubrics in the GILM give enough room to use the Simplex way to sing the Psalms from the Lectionary.
  • I don't think you'd like Psallite. They are not bad but do some odd things sometimes.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,131
    smvanrode, we sing the responsorial psalms and refrain every week. Not sure why you don't think they can be sung.
  • I meant the refrain is repeated after each stanza, that is, after a group of usually two verses. In the Simplex, the refrain is repeated after each verse.