Document permitting non-Catholics to be psalmists at Mass.
  • Where is this, if it exists, unless this is a prohibited practice.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,861
    If it's anywhere, it's in the Directory on Ecumenism, which has the regulations on what non-Catholics may do when participating in a Catholic Mass.

    There is a provision allowing a non-Catholic to present one of the Scripture readings (of course, not the Gospel reading). I would interpret that as covering the Responsorial Psalm also.
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    Paragraph 133 of the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism states:
    133. The reading of Scripture during a Eucharistic celebration in the Catholic Church is to be done by members of that Church. On exceptional occasions and for a just cause, the Bishop of the diocese may permit a member of another Church or ecclesial Community to take on the task of reader.

    I agree with Chonak that this ought to cover proclaiming the Psalm at Mass.
  • Thanks.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,673
    I remember being SHOCKED last Summer at the NPM National Convention in Chicago when a rather progressive nun, while giving a lecture, said she didn't believe non-Catholics should sing the Psalm at Holy Mass. Her reasoning was that they couldn't properly convey the Psalm with a Catholic understanding. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, given where it was coming from.

    This is an interesting topic that I think should be discussed more.
  • I think that it all depends on the viewpoint of the parish.

    Many are desperate to sing the psalm, no matter what, because that's what every other parish does and they should too, regardless of the beliefs or ability of the person singing it.

    Others see the Psalmist as someone who studies the psalms and is liturgically responsible to the congregation.

    Do you have a Psalmist in your parish? An easy test is to ask the person delivering the psalm to explain how psalms rhyme. If they are not able to answer this question, you do not have a Psalmist.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    It was not too many years ago when a parish I attended actual intervened and stopped a person from singing the Psalm on these very grounds. But I also happen to know that it was an excuse: people were complaining about this person's singing and especially the person's demanding antics from the sanctuary.
  • What about a professional cantor whose religious affiliation is unknown? Where professional singers are engaged, does the parish have the responsibility to ascertain their canonical status before engaging them as psalmists or even song leaders?