The Common Psalms are found in the Lectionary, Volume I, towards the end. The section provides some Common Responses and Common Psalms for the Seasons of the Liturgical Year. The texts are provided to enable and encourage the singing of the Responsorial Psalm at Mass and maybe used to replace the given psalm of the day at Mass.

This Collection

The origins of this collection was a pilgrimage where some aspects of the liturgy were not able to be planned in advanced. Therefore to provide a selection of Responsorial Psalms the Common Psalms for Ordinary Time were written.

Expanding the Selection

In preparing this collection it was decided to expand the settings by including other settings of the same psalm text, sometimes with the same psalm response, sometimes with another response. Settings are therefore provided for:

  • Common Psalms
  • Sundays and Solemnities
  • Sacraments of Initiation
  • Penance
  • Marriage
  • Funerals

A Liturgical Index is provided so that settings can easily be found.

The numbering system is arranged as follows: the Common Psalm is numbered as in the Lectionary, the related setting is numbered 24.1, 24.2 etc. Settings, as a rule, follow the bullet points above except where it makes sense to place a pair of alternative responses together.


The music has been written with those who are beginning to sing psalms in mind. Though Psalm Tones can seem complex to the beginner-psalmist their simplicity and flexibility unlock the possibility of singing a great number of texts. A limited number of Psalm Tones is used with just one for each key used for the responses. The same Tone is used with an individual psalm — F major for Psalm 24.

For the nearly every text the whole 4 bars of the Tone is used. In verses with more than 4 lines an indent indicates where a bar runs across two lines of text.

A feature of these settings is the bars of ‘extra’ music between the end of the Tone and the Response. This is offered for two reasons: to provide space between Psalm and Response; to allow guitar-based groups a way to get back into ‘time’ or the pulse before the Response. If desired, these could be omitted. The last sung note of the Psalm Tone last as long as it would if the extra bars were not there, i.e. quite short.

A note on the Text

I was able, while preparing this collection, to clarify something in my own mind which I previously been only slightly aware of, that the current edition of the Lectionary is often inconsistent. That ostensibly the same Response can given in a number of versions (cf. Psalm 18) or that the content of the verses can be different even when they have the same verse reference (cf. Psalm 84). I have not checked the Ordo Lectionum Missae (the Latin source text for the Lectionary) to see where the inconsistency comes from.

More Common Psalms

A follow-up project — More Common Psalms — follows the same format and uses the same Psalm responses for other psalms which are frequently used in the Lectionary.


  • Common Psalms (pdf)
    Settings of the Common Psalms found in the Lectionary.
  • Common Psalms full (pdf)
    The complete collection including other psalms settings and indices.
  • Common Psalms Tones (pdf)
    The Psalm Tones used in the Collection including simple Alleluias.

Common Psalms

The Psalm number links to the individual Psalm page where the full range of settings is given. The Common Responses are given in different layout below from the Collection — each is given on  separate page with space for a psalm to be included.


Common Response

  • Come and set us free, O Lord.

Common Psalms


Common Response

  • Today we have seen your glory, O Lord.

Common Psalm

  • Psalm 97All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


Common Psalm

  • Psalm 71Before you all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve you.


Common Response

  • Remember, O Lord, your faithfulness and love.

Common Psalms

Holy Week

Common Psalm

Easter Vigil

Common Psalms


Common Response

  • Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Common Psalms


Common Psalm


Common Psalm

  • Psalm 103Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Ordinary Time

Common Responses — with a psalm of praise

  • O give thanks to the Lord for he is good.
  • We thank you, Lord, for the wonders of all your creation.
  • O sing a new song to the Lord.

Common Responses — with a psalm of petition

  • The Lord is close to all who call him.
  • Pay heed to us, Lord, and save us.
  • The Lord is compassion and love.

Common Psalms