Psalms

Introduction

The Responsorial Psalm in the Liturgy of the Word was one of the innovations of the revised Roman Lectionary; a response sung by all and verses sung by cantor. It was intended to fulfil the place of the Gradual and is integral to Lectionary Cycle of readings on Sundays and Weekdays. The psalm is intended to enable the meditation on the word by the congregation. On Sundays, in particular, it forms a bridge between the first reading and the gospel with the response often articulating the link. Many of the psalms found here are lyrical settings, that is the psalm verses are given melodies rather than just a simple tone — though examples of those will also be found. One of the gifts that composition brings to the psalms is interpretation and it is often interesting to see how different composers approach the same text. The responses are intended to be easily picked up by the congregation. Sometimes the text has been repeated so that the congregation has a melody it can ‘get its teeth into’. In the Lectionary the same psalm can be used on many different occasions often with different responses. Those who prepare the music need to be careful that the right psalm has been chosen. I try to be aware of these differences in these settings. Part of music’s role can be to make connections and so not only is it good to repeat settings – so that people become familiar with them – but at some level to make connections to when the psalm has previously been sung. The Lectionary provides the Common Psalms as a way of introducing the Responsorial Psalm offering both common response and psalms which may be repeated over a season. The Common Psalm Project provides a setting of all these psalm and in addition other settings of the same text.

Psalms…

How this page is arranged

Each psalm is entered twice:

  • by its psalm number (e.g. 103)
  • by its use on a liturgical day (e.g. Pentecost)

On the pages for the liturgical day links are made to any other relevant music.

Common Psalm Project

Other Settings:

Advent

  1. Psalm 24 (25):4-5. 8-9. 10. 14 r. 1 — To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Christmas

Lent

  1. Psalm 50: 3–6. 12–14. 17 R. cf. v.3 — Have mercy on us, Lord, for we have sinned.

Easter

  1. Psalm 117:1-2. 16-17. 22-23 R. 24 — This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad. or Alleluia!
  2. Psalm 65: 1-7. 16. 20 R. 1 — Cry out with joy to God all the earth, alleluia!

Ordinary Time

  1. Psalm 18: 8–11 r. Jn 6:69 or 6:63 — You have the message of eternal life, O Lord. or Your words, Lord, are spirit and they are life.
  2. Psalm 26
  3. Psalm 33
  4. Psalm 62
  5. Psalm 94: 1–2. 6-9. r. 8 — O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.
  6. Psalm 99
  7. Psalm 102
  8. Psalm 144
  9. Psalm 121