Responsorial Psalm
  • Is it permissible to read an OCP paraphrase of a Psalm in place of the Lectionary Responsorial Psalm?

    Then, if it is not which seems logical to me, is it permissible to read the verses of an OCP paraphrase of a Psalm when the OCP Antiphon paraphrase of the Psalm is Sung in place of the Lectionary Responsorial Psalm?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,590
    I believe the GIRM speaks to this issue. Let me see what I find.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,590
    The Responsorial Psalm

    61. After the first reading comes the responsorial Psalm, which is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word and holds great liturgical and pastoral importance, because it fosters meditation on the word of God.

    The responsorial Psalm should correspond to each reading and should, as a rule, be taken from the Lectionary.

    It is preferable that the responsorial Psalm be sung, at least as far as the people's response is concerned. Hence, the psalmist, or the cantor of the Psalm, sings the verses of the Psalm from the ambo or another suitable place. The entire congregation remains seated and listens but, as a rule, takes part by singing the response, except when the Psalm is sung straight through without a response. In order, however, that the people may be able to sing the Psalm response more readily, texts of some responses and Psalms have been chosen for the various seasons of the year or for the various categories of Saints. These may be used in place of the text corresponding to the reading whenever the Psalm is sung. If the Psalm cannot be sung, then it should be recited in such a way that it is particularly suited to fostering meditation on the word of God.

    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.
  • So it appears that the lectionary version MUST BE READ when the psalm is read. And then the common practice of singing a psalm paraphrase and reading the paraphrase verses is not permitted.

    This is progress.

    And, I am quite sure that the paraphrases of OCP and other publishing houses "have not been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop." except in the case of the Oregon Diocese.

    So, unless the Bishop in your Diocese has officially approved these paraphrases, it is not permissible for them to be sung. I doubt that the approval by one Bishop in one Diocese grants permission in all Diocese....otherwise, why would the USCCB approval be required?

    I'm sure there are Bishops who will now go ahead and approve OCP and others just to avoid the hassle. But there have to be those that will not and the moment that happens, the entire PROPERS issue is out in the public and in contention.
  • Why, I ask, should priests be strictly not permitted to vary the text of the Mass and yet the Responsorial Psalm which is the ONLY proper to be preserved intact and, the only proper through the strict instructions of the GIRM must be included in EVERY Mass then be mauled beyond recognition by the act of paraphrasing it.

    The test of any composer...or artist...is the ability to be creative within the limitations of a structure. Masses have been composed for centuries with this understanding, but OCP and others really dropped the ball and the powers that be weren't able to get it together to say, "Wait a minute here..."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,590
    This may come as shock, surprise and dismay, but chant is the perfect compliment to maintaining text intact while setting it to music. To me, as a composer, paraphrase means, "let's rewrite the text so we can fit it to the MUSIC WE WOULD RATHER COMPOSE." The music becomes the driving force and the text secondary.

    Now, if we widen this philosophy of thinking to include all aspects of the liturgy this is where being "creative" or "self-expressive" disrespectfully trumps the form and essence of the Mass itself.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • francis said:
    This may come as shock, surprise and dismay, but chant is the perfect compliment to mainting text intact while setting it to music. To me, as a composer, paraphrase means, "let's rewrite the text so we can fit it to the MUSIC WE WOULD RATHER COMPOSE." The music becomes the driving force and the text secondary.


    I agree that chant is the perfect complement to singing the text and letting the text be primary.

    One of the reasons that composers alter the text is to claim copyright to the text and double their royalty. If they set the text of the lectionary, they have to give the 5% text royalty to the copyright holder(s), leaving them only the 5% music royalty.

    Noel said:
    And, I am quite sure that the paraphrases of OCP and other publishing houses "have not been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop." except in the case of the Oregon Diocese.

    So, unless the Bishop in your Diocese has officially approved these paraphrases, it is not permissible for them to be sung. I doubt that the approval by one Bishop in one Diocese grants permission in all Diocese....otherwise, why would the USCCB approval be required?


    Canonically, the bishop in whose diocese a liturgical publisher is located is the bishop primarily responsible for the doctrinal reliability (nihil obstat/imprimatur) and liturgical conformity (concordat cum originali). So Archbishop Vlazny's granting of the concordat to OCP insures that the liturgical texts conform exactly to the official books from which they are drawn.

    The problem comes of course with texts that may be sung in place of liturgical texts.

    As for Noel's first question, the answer is NO--one may not READ a paraphrase; but one may SING a paraphrase, provided it has the approval of the diocesan bishop or of the USCCB. This laxity privileges singing over recitation.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    what psalm in particular areyou talking about, Noel- 23rd?
  • All of the paraphrased psalms in Breaking Bread, for example.
  • The Alleluia is also a preserved Proper.
  • Thanks, Michael!

    And how many churches follow the recommendations and have a different cantor sing the Alleluia?
  • I have to say that I didn't even remember that it recommended as much.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 510
    I believe the American bishops have given approval for anything approved by the bishop of the diocese in which things are published, i.e. Msgr. Vlazny.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,074
    It is worthwhile to distinguish a genuine psalm paraphrase from other Scripture-based songs. A paraphrase would respect the psalm's integrity: it would represent a single, specific psalm without adding imagery, concepts, and phrases from other sources. It would, at least in general, place ideas and images in the order found in the original psalm.

    In contrast, some songs found in "missalette" booklets are based on multiple psalms or other Scripture texts, and it would not be correct to consider these as a "psalm arranged in metrical form".
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,590
    Chonak

    You make an excellent observation. But who would make the determination on each and every paraphrase? The pastor? The DoM? The Liturgy Committee?!