Using Communion verses with the Communio chant at an EF Mass
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 341
    This July, while the men's schola is on a well deserved break the ladies schola at my parish will be singing the full proper chants for the 8th, 9th and 10th Sundays after Pentecost. I would like to have the ladies sing the Communion chant using the additional psalm verses. I don't think this is forbidden because after the chant is sung a choir can sing additional motets while the congregation is receiving communion. However, just in case I am wrong does anyone know if it is prohibited? We would sing the antiphon then verse, repeat the antiphon and then any additional verses as needed with the antiphon as a refrain. Thanks in advance.
  • Ruth,
    To the best of my knowledge, the psalm verses were always permitted to be sung in the Mass of St. Pius V. In fact, the additional psalm verses for Introits, offertories & communios were included in a collection available in the CMAA Latin Chants section.

  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    From De Ritibus Servandis in Cantu Missae (1961):

    After the Communion of the priest, the full choir sings the
    Antiphon which is thus named, the Intonation being sung by
    one, two or four cantors as in the case of the Introit. When
    there are other communicants, the Antiphon is begun when
    the priest distributes Communion. 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.

  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115

    This might be worth looking into, if your singers need it. It contains all the communion verses fully notated. You can also find it on the bottom of this page.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 341
    Thank you all for the information, I really appreciate the help.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,041
    The Richard Rice Communio book has communion antiphons and verses for the Ordinary Form; you can take the calendar differences into account and usually find the antiphon you need there.

    Until the 1950s, the communion antiphon was sung without verses, at the end of the distribution of Holy Communion. In 1958, the document De musica sacra et sacra liturgia authorized the addition of verses and provided that it be sung earlier, just after the priest's communion.

    There is a separate book with the EF communion verses. You can download Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum here. I like it because the verses are taken from the Vulgate; in the OF, the verses are taken from the Neo-Vulgate Bible.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    Ahh, thank you for the correction, Richard. I was sub-consciously thinking OF.
  • jczarn
    Posts: 65
    Is it licit to use the Richard Rice Communio book for the extra verses in an EF Mass, considering that the texts are from the "Neo-Vulgate" instead of the Vulgate? I was planning on using the Communio book that I just bought at the Colloquium, but someone mentioned that it might not technically be allowed. Would I be in the clear if I used them at our EF Mass?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,525
    There is no problem in using the neo-vulgate in the EF, I have several 1961 Holy Week books (used to update older editions of the L.U.) that have both versions of the psalms.
    1. The texts of the EF are from the Vulgate.
    2. It is very confusing to try to sing the neo-vulgate psalms when you have been singing the EF Office for years!
    3. Why sing a good translation when you can sing the inerrant Word of God.

    We always use the Psalmorum book instead (as linked above).

    We have re-typeset a number of these verses in the style of the Richard Rice book to make them easier to sing by the less experienced.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Chonak, until the 1950's but since when? Trent? Communion verses were certainly the practice going back to the 9th and 10th centuries or earlier.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,041
    Hi, incantu. I don't know how far back the antiphon-only practice went. I'll keep an eye out for an answer to that.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 341
    chonak Thanks. We will go down for Communion first and then come back and sing the communion antiphon and psalm verses as needed.
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 764
    Anyone who would like a copy of a given Communio with transcribed verses taken from the traditional Vulgate, as used in the Liber usualis, may make their requests to Richard Rice at
  • Protasius
    Posts: 468
    In fact the texts of the EF are not always from the Vulgata; there are also portions of the Vetus Itala and Bible paraphrases of the Church Fathers.
  • rrobbins
    Posts: 14
  • Chrism
    Posts: 855
    To correct what was said above, the Neo-Vulgate Psalms were not published until 1969, so they have never formed an official part of the EF liturgy. The latest revised pre-conciliar Holy Week books allowed two options for the Psalms--the traditional "Vulgate", and the "Bea Psalter" of 1945.

    On Wikipedia, there is a detailed discussion of Latin Psalters.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 882
    Is anyone able to to take the Rice Communion book with Latin Verses and crop off all the extra white space so that when printing the PDF with "fit to page" it comes out larger than the original book? The PDF with the English verses prints fine this way, but the Latin verses have such large margins and wasted white space, it would be nice to print a larger print version, but I don't have the means to edit a PDF.

    As a bonus, adding book marks for the individual chants (like in the English version) would be nice too.
  • We do this all the time. It’s done at the FSSP seminary.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    We do this, too.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 922
    Earl_Grey, try using this free online pdf-crop tool:

    But get the reduced margins right the first time otherwise you have to wait an hour to try again. Leave room at the top for the headings and page numbers on subsequent pages.

    Edit: I did it for you using the website. Attached.

    But keep that website in mind for future pdf cropping needs. There are other sites, but they limit you to 200 pages. This one has no size limit.
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 151
    I consult it sometimes for which psalm to use (if I don't already know - if the Communion chant is a psalm verse the psalm verses are pretty much always from the same psalm) and replace the Neo-Vulgate verses with the Vulgate verses.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw