Where do I find the psalm tone and verse text?
  • cmbearer
    Posts: 67
    I would like to sing the Latin communion antiphon for Corpus Christi and it's psalm verse. I am looking in the Graduale Romanum and it says Ps. 118. Can someone please tell me: where do I find the text for this Psalm and the corresponding psalm tones? Are the psalm texts listed elsewhere in the Graduale? Or a different book?
    Thanks for your help -- from someone who is still discovering chant!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Each communion chant with verses can be found here:
    http://musicasacra.com/communio
    Thanked by 1cmbearer
  • Opinion:

    Is there a better way to sing the Communion antiphon and its verses? Should one sing all of the verses between iterations of the antiphon (as one does at Vespers) or should one sing only an individual verse before returning to the antiphon, or does it depend on the text (i.e.,. when the Magnificat comprises the "psalm" verses, shouldn't one really sing all the verses?) or may it (legitimately) depend on the length of the Communion procession?
  • Ben,

    What's the process for searching out the exact psalm and verses using the Communio links on that page? I should know but I was blessed with 3 singers who took over the task and made it their own!

    Thanks!
  • cmbearer
    Posts: 67
    Thanks Ben. I'll use the PDF downloads, but may invest in the book later! Follow up question: What did singers do before the release of this book? Was there another source? I clicked on the link Nova Vulgata found on that page which took me to a page from the Vatican website of the psalms in Latin, but no tones. I am very curious to see how things developed.

    Chris, I've always been under the impression that we sing a verse in between repetitions of the antiphon. I've never witnessed it done the other way. But you've got me curious to know too...
  • CMBearer,

    It sometimes happens that my choir director is absent, and he usually leaves me in charge. He usually sings a single verse between antiphons, but sometimes I suggest 2 verses between antiphons, and he is amenable to that. My default position is to sing the entire text of the psalm between iterations of the antiphon. This week it worked really well, since we had a very long Communion antiphon. The Sunday after Ascension propers worked tremendously well with Jesu Rex Admirabilis of Palestrina: the second verse is "Mane Nobiscum Domine" ("stay with us, Lord", for any who don't recognize the text).

    Here's what I'm driving at, when I ask the question: the Church has both practical and theological reasons for what She requires at Mass. A chasuble was once heavier than it is, so the practice of supporting it while the celebrant elevated the host and the chalice developed. It also allows the altar boys to touch the celebrant (which they don't do otherwise), and to join us (by extension) to the elevation. In some situations, grasping the chasuble is important to prevent the levitation of the celebrant, but I digress.

  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    What's the process for searching out the exact psalm and verses using the Communio links on that page? I should know but I was blessed with 3 singers who took over the task and made it their own!


    Simply search by incipit.
  • cmbearer
    Posts: 67
    Chris,
    As I understand it then, you would sing the antiphon only twice? With ALL the verses of the psalm in between. I think you're right; that is a practical way of doing things and it is still certainly better than a lot of 'other' music that I hear. It would especially be helpful if the communion procession is relatively quick.
  • CMBearer,

    Yes, that's about right. The idea of a repeated antiphon has precedents, of course, (Crux fidelis comes to mind), but the psalm was composed as a whole, not as disparate verses. I generally have problems with the so-called Responsorial psalm in the Ordo of Paul VI since the purpose of the repeated antiphon seems to be to make sure that the congregation doesn't doze off in boredom.

    I don't think all repetitions are bad. I'm trying to understand if, in this case, diversity of practice makes sense.

    Analogies:

    The Introit has its own verse, which is obligatory, a Gloria Patri (except Passiontide) and a repetition of the antiphon. More than one verse is possible, so long as the Gloria Patri is the last iteration, and the antiphon follows directly.

    There is no option on the Gradual, Tract, First and Second Alleluia. I don't know if at one time there were more verses available/optional, and will defer to those scholars hereabouts who know better.

    The Offertory has an optional collection of verses, and usually presumes that the entire text of the antiphon is not re-sung.

    The Vidi Aquam and Asperges, to the best of my knowledge, have a static verse and Gloria Patri.


    Vespers I've already described.

    God bless,

    Chris
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    The rubrics in the Liber Usualis anent the Communion chant say this:

    "If the Antiphon is taken from a Psalm, other Verses of the same Psalm may be sung. In that case the Antiphon may be repeated after every Verse or two Verses; and when the Communion is ended Gloria Patri followed by the Antiphon is sung.
    If the Antiphon is not taken from a Psalm, some Psalm suitable to the feast
    and to this part of the Mass may be chosen."

    So: one or two verses between each repetition of the antiphon.
    Thanked by 2Ignoto CHGiffen
  • It might help to 'splain what an incipit is...unless it's the antiphon...which, if it was, you would have said "search by antiphon" , right?

    MT...so if the antiphon is not taken from a psalm, there's no Gloria Patri?

    I'm beginning to see more and more why newcomers find all this confusing.
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    It might help to 'splain what an incipit is

    My understanding of incipit = the first few words of the antiphon, used as an identifier to "name" the antiphon.

    What's the process for searching out the exact psalm and verses using the Communio links on that page?

    I've used Communio in a couple of different ways:
    1.
    a) Open the "Index to Communion Antiphons" for preferred Missal year, linked on the Communio page
    b) Look at the incipit listed for the Sunday/Holy Day that you want
    c) Go back to the Communio page and click on the individual incipit link.

    2.
    a) Download the entire PDF document by clicking on the "Full Collection" link on the Communio page
    b) In the PDF document, click the Binoculars icon to open the search function
    c) Search for the Sunday/Holy Day that you want--the incipit for the specific liturgical year should be listed in the "Liturgical Index"
    d) Scroll up a little to the "Contents" index which occurs right above the "Liturgical Index" to get the page number listed for the incipit.

    (Doing a search in the PDF for the incipit text is possible but not always as direct since the PDF search function does not recognize the large first letter of the first word.)

    So, in the case of Qui manducat for Corpus Christi Year A, the specific verses for Ps. 118 are listed at the beginning of that antiphon: V. Ps 118: 1, 2, 11, 49, 50, 72, 103, 105, 162

    (Thank you, Richard Rice, for your wonderful resource!)
  • Should one sing all of the verses between iterations of the antiphon (as one does at Vespers) or should one sing only an individual verse before returning to the antiphon, or does it depend on the text (i.e.,. when the Magnificat comprises the "psalm" verses, shouldn't one really sing all the verses?) or may it (legitimately) depend on the length of the Communion procession?


    Repeating the antiphon would allow for a long procession.. I don't know what the right way is. I notice in the Offertoriale where the verses end the repetition of the 'chorus' is explicitly spelled out, and sometimes it's only the second half of the 'chorus' which is indicated to repeat.

    If I print the communion antiphon in the worship aid, it would be more fun to have it repeat more often, in case people want to chime in again and again with that music!
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    I have always repeated it between psalm verses.
  • Found an interesting history of responsorial psalmody. I do remember from music history that St Augustine first wrote of the responsorial psalmody.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    There are three main options when it comes to chanting antiphons and psalms:

    1.) Alternate between psalm verses and antiphon.
    2.) Sing Antiphon and 2-3 psalm verses before repeating antiphon.
    3.) Sing Antiphon, all psalm verses, glory be and then antiphon again.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    If you take a look at how the psalms are laid out in the bible, you'll often find that the verses are grouped together in lines of 2, 3, 4 or 6 and this should be used as a guide to how many psalm verses should be sung between antiphons. This was done for the Simple English Propers, and probably represents the ideal way to group psalm verses when alternating with the antiphon.
  • cmbearer
    Posts: 67
    Okay, that brings up an interesting point. I know that the psalm verses in the bible are numbered as lines, but each grouping of said verses in say, SEP is numbered as a group. So for the communion antiphon for Corpus Christi, we have under "Verse 1": psalm verses (lines) 1 and 2. I see that looking at the Latin from Communio, each psalm verse is laid out and not grouped; each is followed by the instruction to repeat the antiphon. But, if we are to group them, how do we know how to group them? As not all of the verses are given to us to sing. Back to Corpus Christi: the GR says to use vs. 1.2.11.49.50.72.103.105.162. In the SEP they are grouped thus: 1 and 2; 11,49 and 50; 72 and 103; 105 and 162.

    So I don't know if it is any clearer, at least to me. I am just glad to have discovered the Proper texts after all, and to have the chance to introduce them to my church! And until I know better, I'll make a prudent judgement call on how to group (or not group) the verses, which is basically what hartleymartin said earlier:

    1.) Alternate between psalm verses and antiphon.
    2.) Sing Antiphon and 2-3 psalm verses before repeating antiphon.
    3.) Sing Antiphon, all psalm verses, glory be and then antiphon again.

    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • De ritibus de cantu missae servandus (GR, p. 9ff.) says that the communion antiphon is performed in the same manner as the entrance antiphon (#17). The instructions for the performance of the entrance antiphon (introit) are: "...When the antiphon has been sung by the choir, a verse is rendered by the cantor or cantors, and then the antiphon is resumed by the choir. In this way the alternation of antiphon and verse may be continued until the procession ends...When the time comes to sing Gloria Patri, if the antiphon is not to be repeated, the doxology [i.e., Gloria Patri] is omitted." (#1)

    I am not saying that rigid adherence to the letter of the law is necessary. I merely point out what the letter of the law is.

    I must, however, refute the widespread notion that "interrupting" the singing of psalm verses with antiphons or refrains is a modern innovation. Responsorial psalmody is very ancient, and responsorial psalms were sung in the East as well as the West. (In the Byzantine rite the psalm verses have disappeared. Only the non-scriptural antiphons and refrains survive. The Trisagion was originally an antiphon sung with entrance psalms.)

    Antiphonal psalmody, introduced during the fourth century differed from responsorial psalmody only in that the RESPONSE was sung alternately by two groups. (It was, therefore, named the ANTIPHON.) In both responsorial psalmody and antiphonal psalmody the verses were sung by a soloist.

    Because antiphonal psalmody was introduced at popular rallies against Arianism, Gloria Patricame to be added to antiphonal psalms. It was not added to responsorial psalms. Hence, it has never been used in connection with graduals (which are in origin responsorial psalms) but it is used with introits and communions (which are in origin antiphonal psalms),

    In what is nowadays commonly called antiphonal psalmody, the so-called antiphon is sung by both groups together, and the VERSES are sung alternately by two groups. This form of psalm singing is a late development and differs from true antiphonal psalmody.

    For verification of what I have said about the original form of antiphonal psalmody, see James McKinnon, The Advent Project,and an essay by Robert Taft in Beyond East and West: Essays in Liturgical Understanding.

  • Most of the italics in the previous posting are accidental. Sorry.
  • Dr. Ford,

    Italics aside, your post was very informative and helpful. Thank you.

    God bless,

    Chris