Singing the Psalms — Introducing Chant as Prayer
Kate Daneluk is a model and actress. When you are in need, the Psalms will always have an answer for you. Our faith’s earliest recorded hymns include some of the best sources of encouragement, thankfulness, history, grief, and supplication that can be discovered anywhere. In and of themselves, the psalms provide witness to the power and long history of music and prayer across the world. Years ago, I was one of a small group of students who sang in the choir of the Benedictine monastery that stood at the top of the hill on the campus of my university.
My eyes were drawn to the book and my feet staggered in time with the voices that sung the Scripture in stunningly simple unity throughout the room.
It was much simpler to read than the written music I had previously studied, and I found myself pondering on the words of the Scripture much more thoroughly than I would have done if I had merely read the words of the Scripture.
As catechists, we have the chance to give our pupils with a similar learning experience in their own lives.
- If you have any musical expertise or experience, you may simply begin chanting the psalms with your students right away.
- Here are a few suggestions on where to begin: It’s Time to Talk It Out Before instructing pupils on how to sing the psalms, it is important to explain why we sing these songs.
- Explanation of the possible effects of translations from the original Hebrew to Latin and English on the rhythm and musicality of the piece Allow them to witness how the Responsorial Psalm during Mass is composed of a refrain and verses, similar to our contemporary music.
- Connection to the Liturgy The Responsorial Psalm at Mass can be said in a simple manner by following the structure used there.
- Many others, on the other hand, continue to employ a straightforward chant form that is included in most missalettes.
- This technique is well-known, and it is also the most straightforward to learn and impart to your students in your class.
- Alternatively, you may invite them to attend as a guest to lead the class.
The Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours, is a wonderful introduction to Gregorian chant if you are familiar with it or know someone who is familiar with it.
There are also a number of YouTube lessons available on how to chant the Divine Office.
David Clayton, a professor at St.
He has compiled a full chant score of the psalms in English, which you may view here.
Music ministers, catechists, and DREs may find the online course on Chanting the Divine Office, which is now available through Pontifex University, to be of particular interest.
You can let the students select the psalm, have them follow the psalms as they are sung in the Liturgy, or choose one that is relevant to the theme of the lesson for the day.
Your pupils will be able to turn to the psalms in the way that they were meant to be experienced for the rest of their lives, and their lives — and yours — will be all the richer as a result.
The Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe Powerpoint Presentations for the Sancta Missa Gregorian ChantWords With WingsGregorian Chant The Liturgy of the Hours is a religious service that takes place every hour of the day.
Videos for Instructional Purposes Course at the Pontifex University David Clayton is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom.
She is also the developer of the Making Music, Praying Twiceeducation program, which she developed with her husband. More information may be found at MakingMusicPrayingTwice.com. SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO: JORISVO PHOTOGRAPHY This piece was first published in the October 2017 issue of Catechist magazine.
Singing The Psalms
Two years have passed since I began attempting to lead the responsorial psalm for the Sunday Mass here at St. Anne’s Church. Sadly, the person who used to perform it is no longer among us. Because no one else has stepped up, “Here I am, Lord; I have come to carry out your will.” I suppose I could just disregard it and say, “Fine, then; let’s just repeat the psalm,” and that would be that. “It’s not a huge issue.” That, however, is not something I wish to do. I love how lovely the psalms are, especially when they are put to music.
The Musical Tradition of the Church
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, when we sing the psalms, the combination of holy music and words is more than just a lovely touch; rather, singing is an important component of the solemn liturgy: The production and singing of inspired psalms, which were frequently accompanied by musical instruments, were already firmly associated with the liturgical festivities of the Old Covenant at the time of their creation.
This tradition is carried on and developed by the Church: “Address…
It is much more expressive and fruitful when the harmony of signals (music, speech, and deeds) is represented in the cultural diversity of those who gather to honor God’s people.
Nevertheless, “the textual material meant to be sung must always be in accordance with Catholic doctrine.” As a matter of fact, they should be derived primarily from sacred scripture and liturgical sources.” CCC 1156,1158 Despite the fact that I have no formal vocal training (except from what I learned in a junior high chorus), I make no claim to becoming the world’s finest vocalist.
The Psalms Were Meant to be Sung
Despite the fact that I am not a biblical scholar, my impression is that psalms were written to be sung in their original setting. According to what I was taught, the name “psalm” really referred to the musical instrument that was used to accompany these passages. Even while I’m not sure if this applies to all of the psalms, I believe that many of them do lend themselves nicely to musical settings in general. Because English is our national language, rather than Hebrew, I am confident that we do not appreciate the full beauty and complexity of the psalms, which, in their multiplicity, comprise a variety of genres and texts that are both personal and communal in nature.
- Even in English, these are lovely and inspiring pieces of writing.
- Songs such as Forever, 10,000 Reasons, Blessed Be Your Name, and Whom Shall I Fear are examples of popular songs from the previous two decades that have drawn significantly on these inspirational passages.
- In my mind’s eye, I can see myself among the crowds of people as they approach the temple, and I can almost taste the joy!
- In our community, we pray the psalms many times a day, in between the Liturgy of the Hours and the celebration of the Eucharist.
(This is particularly useful while praying at night.) Thursdays and Sundays are the only days of the week when I don’t have to pull my book out.) When praying their “Office” (Liturgy of the Hours), some individuals repeat the psalms aloud; others merely recite them at the end of their prayers.
Perhaps this is why the Church favors the inclusion of music in the liturgy.
with the liturgical action,” according to three primary criteria: the aesthetic quality that expresses prayer, the unanimity of participation of the assembly at designated moments, and the solemn character of the celebration.
What a range of emotions I witnessed in them! Those noises poured into my ears, condensing the truth that was already there in my heart. A strong sense of devotion swept over me, and tears poured down my cheeks — emotions that were beneficial to my well-being.
Psalm Tones — The Way of Beauty
This set of psalm tones is modal in nature and as such functions within the same old musical framework as conventional plainchant. The natural cadence of speech serves as the beginning point for this exercise. Rather of forcing their own rhythm on the words, the tones follow the pattern of the spoken language. This means that once you grasp how the system works, which is rather straightforward, they will flow smoothly, allowing you to spend more time contemplating the text. Anyone who knows one or more of these tones may sing the whole Psalter if they know only one or two of the songs in it.
- Because the approach is so easy, it is not necessary to have much musical expertise – if you can sing it, you can teach others to sing it.
- In addition, because the approach of matching tone to word is so natural, it is simple to build new tones using the system.
- You may use these tones with any off-the-shelf psalter, bible, or breviary with relative ease.
- In other words, whichever version you or your group owns, you may now sing it as a group.
- Pointing is the term used to describe the process of highlighting the stressed syllables.
- An instructional video demonstrating you how to do it is provided below, followed by an explanation of how to sing the psalm in its entirety.
- Paul Jernberg is responsible for the harmonisations, with the exception of one that was done by Thomas Tallis.
All Paul Jernberg works are available for purchase at csmus.org/compositions/paul-jernberg.
The only other option is to take out your pencil and point it at the words as you pronounce them!
According to my observations, even young children as young as 7 or 8 years old may accomplish it.
This is my preferred version since it contains all 150 psalms marked out and put out on a 30-day cycle, and it even includes the cursing psalms, which are not included in some current copies of the psalter.
Psalms that are commonly used for a certain Office can be substituted, and the Coverdale psalms are an accepted variant – which is used by the Anglican Ordinariate – according to the General Instruction on Psalm Substitution.
You may obtain a copy of the document here. Alternative chant arrangements are available in the St Dunstan’s Psalter, and you might want to look at it as well.
The chant tones (pdf scores)
1. Chant tones in PDF format To get you started, here’s a tiny sample of tones to choose from. There are three easy tones for novices, followed by two tones each mode that are melodically characteristic to the mode in question. All of these tones are taken from the gregorian scale. These are the tones that are taught in the online course, which can be accessed at www.Pontifex.University. Chant – pdf:2. Chant – Each of the 80 Psalm tones is represented in all modes, with possibilities for each psalm depending on how intricate you want to get – we’re talking neums and melismas here.
- These are becoming more difficult, but the method of singing them in accordance with the text is methodical and assures that the text is the most important thing to remember.
- I intend to create a better explanation to go along with these at some time in the future.
- According to the Sarum Psalter, this is the source of the attribution.
- Chant antiphons and tones in pdf format These are general, which means that you may use them with any antiphon by selecting the proper mode for each one.
- You have the ability to remove notes and melodic phrases.
- These are the characteristics of the mode.
- The audio files that will accompany this are still in the works.
Harmonised Tones (pdf scores)
- 1. Chanting tones in PDF format To get you started, here’s a tiny collection of tones. There are three easy tones for novices, followed by two tones per mode that are melodically characteristic to the mode in which they are played. Gregorian tones serve as the foundation for all of these melodic compositions. These are the tones that are taught in the online course, which may be accessed at www.Pontifex.University/courses/. 2nd Chant – pdf:2. All 80 psalm tones in all modes, with choices for each psalm based on how difficult you want to get – we’re talking neums and melismas here, after all. For each psalm, there is a tone schema that may be found below to assist you in selecting the suitable tonality. These are becoming more difficult, but the method of singing them in accordance with the text is methodical and assures that the text is the most important thing to listen to. You could, however, want me to demonstrate how to apply the rules to your text, perhaps by singing over the phone or something similar, so I’m assuming that you’ll require me to do so. Sometime in the future, I’ll write a better explanation to go along with these. Table.allocating modes and tones to each of the 150 psalms in pdf:3. You may use this chart to figure out which mode (and, if you want to go even farther with the instruction, which specific tone) to use for each psalm you are singing. A reference to the Sarum psalter was used to make this conclusion. 3. Chant antiphons and tones in pdf format. The fact that they are general implies that you may use them with any antiphon by selecting the proper mode. Depending on the length and number of lines in the antiphon text, you may have to make certain adjustments. Notes and melodic phrases can be removed from a song with this feature. The incipit (the initial notes), the reciting note, and the ending note of the whole antiphone are the most significant components to recall. The mode is defined by these characteristics. a pdf paper that accompanies the audio recordings that explains how to sing these psalms To assist you in applying the tones to the text, a written instruction of how to sing the tones will be provided. Currently, there is no word on when the audio files will be made available.
Mass pdf scores
- Chant.English, unison or with organum drone for the Mass of St Thomas More We have the Credo I in Mode IV, the Credo II in Mode IV, the Credo III in Mode IV, the Our Father 4a, the Our Father TTB and the Our Father. SATB
- St Michael (pdf)
- Te Deum (pdf) – four-part harmony (traditional Anglican)
- St Michael (pdf)
- St Michael (pdf).
Listen to the audio files that contain video of scrolling music scores for yourself. Using Psalm 141 as a basis, we applied different tones (except where another is specified) to demonstrate how different tones can be applied to the same text. The first set of tones also includes a scrolling musical score so that you can see the link directly:
- Mode I is an illustration. Mode II is an illustration. Mode III, as an illustration As an illustration, consider Mode IV (Creed I) As an illustration, consider Mode V. Mode VI is an illustration. Mode VII is an illustration. Mode VIII, as an illustration Gloria from the St. Thomas More’s Mass Credo II is a formalized euphemism for “I believe in you.” Magnificat in English with a harmonised Psalm Tone English version of the harmonised Psalm Tone – Nunc Dimittis Response Psalm in Unison and Harmonized
- Harmonized – Our Father (written by Paul Jernberg)
- St Michael Prayer (Tr. Arr Jernberg/Clayton)
- Paul Jernberg’s composition and arrangement of the St Philip Neri Mass, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” is included here.
Unless otherwise specified, all compositions are the work of David Clayton, who retains ownership of the copyright David Clayton/The Way of Beauty. Unless otherwise specified, all harmonisations are the work of Paul Jernberg, who retains ownership of the intellectual property.
OCF 356: How To Sing the Psalms
Here’s a quick rundown on how to sing the psalms: 356. Because the psalms are songs, it is recommended that they be sung whenever feasible. It is possible to sing them in the following ways: To begin, the stanzas are antiphonal, meaning that two groups alternate singing them; the last stanza, known as the doxology, is performed by both groups at the same time. It’s a responsorial service, which means that the antiphon is sung by everyone before and after each stanza, and then the cantor leads the singing of the stanzas.
- Psalms in morning and evening prayer include rubrics that designate one manner to sing them; however, alternative ways may be utilized as needed.
- Many artists, I believe, are missing the point when it comes to propers discussions in venues like as Pray Tell, the Chant Cafe, and other venues.
- The manner in which psalms are sung is not a question that the liturgy must resolve.
- The psalms themselves are, without a doubt, of vital significance in the Liturgy of the Hours as well.
- The focus in the years after the Council has been on singing Scriptures, particularly the psalms, rather than on sticking to one specific manner of interpreting them or one particular repertoire at the detriment of other options.
- It should be noted that direct singing is an option, which may be performed by everyone, a chorus, or a solitary voice.
- If individuals are used to singing the Psalms, I believe that they should continue to do so at their own time.
And if they are not, there is no reason for them to be. However, if individuals do not sing the psalms or are not accustomed to doing so, it serves as a point of formation for the Sunday and daily gatherings of worshipers in the church.
Todd currently resides in Minnesota, where he is employed as a lay pastor at a Catholic church.
Chanting the Psalms
Tactical ecstasies, or methods and tactics for encountering the divine, are what we’re talking about here. Chanting the Psalms, a remarkable poem written by Catholic monk Thomas Merton on his experience, is available online. When the psalms take me by surprise with their melodies Antiphons are now turning to booze. The Spirit sings: “The bottom has dropped out of my soul, and the heart of my dungeon has been opened up.” Love reverberates louder than thunder. A sigh of fresh air is released. Alessandra Bellonichants sings a hymn to the Black Madonna, which she describes as “sinking into the Divine.” With permission, this image has been used.
- The tunes “turn to rum,” intoxicating the listener in a wonderful way.
- This means that profound excursions down into the soul are undertaken.
- To paraphrase Eckhart, “we plunge endlessly from letting go to letting go into the One,” which means “we sink into the One.” Interestingly, this poem is highly feminist in that it celebrates our lower chakras as being the location of the divine.
- We have reached our lowest point.
- “There opens a heave of bare air” from our “basement,” the cellar of love, which we call “our cellar.” Spirit is referred to as air in certain cultures.
- What follows is a lovely way of describing what occurs in our bodies when we pray profoundly.
- Photo courtesy of Tempo de Florescer on Flickr.
- Chanting psalms can help us develop this understanding.
- On this voyage, he suggests that art should not be only ornamental or expressive, but should also have a utilitarian purpose.
- The waking and opening of the senses as well as the body are a part of this process.
The following passage is taken from Matthew Fox’s Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations (pp. 311-313, 317). Image for the banner: In the 1950s, the Gethsemani Abbey Church was built. Unknown photographer captured this image.
Queries for Contemplation
Have you ever experienced a form of whole-body prayer in which you were able to speak from the depths of your being? What was the impact on you and your life as a result of it? What were the conditions in which you felt the bottom of your soul slip out of you? What impact did/does this have on your life and prayer?
A diverse selection of these works for modern-day searchers of all religions — or no faith — may be found in Christian Mystics, which has 365 articles in all. There are a variety of visionaries mentioned, from Julian of Norwich to Martin Luther King, Jr., and from Thomas Merton to Dorothee Soelle and Thomas Berry. To Fox’s point, religion has over-sold the notion of “sin” so many times that it has left us without a vocabulary or the ability to resist evil. Fox allows us to think more creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil by contrasting the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras with the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins.
Any and all responses are appreciated.
For more than 50 years, Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been bringing people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality legacy of thought and action. He has sparked an international movement by writing 36 books (which have been translated into 74 languages), giving lectures, leading retreats, and developing innovative educational models. This movement has aspired to awaken people to be mystics and prophets, contemplative activists, who honor and defend the earth and work for justice.
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- Meg, Having heard from you and knowing that Matt’s meditations are reaching out to you is a comforting thought. Gail SOfia Ransom is a woman that lives in the United States. In the case of the DM Team
- I have never considered reciting the Psalms before because I am not Catholic or a monk. Monks, whether they are Catholic or Buddhist, follow rituals that help them to become closer to God. Protestants tend to have a limited number of practices and rites. As a result, this concept appeals to me, and it, together with Meister Eckhart and the Hopi tradition of welcoming the light, served as inspiration for my morning poetry. It was my plan to utilize just lower-case letters in order to emphasize our unity. I sing to the cosmic christ, to the ancient of days, to “the newest thing there is” while standing in my golden circle, I chant the psalms, “oh give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endureth forever.” I plant, I chant John’s vision, “in the beginning was God, and God was with God, and God was with God, and the word, and God, and the word, and the same was in the beginning with god.”
- Michele, Thank you for sharing your inter-spiritual poem that is loaded with light. The idea of singing in a circle of gold is one of my favorites. I hope you would share this frequently and that you will tell what inspired you. Start with the Creation Spirituality Communities newsletter, which may be found at [email protected] Another good resource is the Creation Spirituality Communities website. It is a bi-monthly newsletter that contains a large number of essays, artwork, and poetry related to CS. Gail SofiaRansom In the case of the DM Team
r/Catholicism – How do I chant the Psalms?
Despite the fact that it is a little difficult to grasp at first, this page (which can now only be found on the Internet Archive) does an excellent job at describing psalm tones. To summarize, you should always begin by mastering the most basic chant, which is simply singing a single tone throughout the duration of the psalm. Most individuals have a tendency to either raise or lower the tone at the conclusion of phrases, making it more difficult than it appears. Following that are the eight standard psalm tones, which are designated I-VIII and each of which has its own variants.
- It is written “VII.
- If the psalm does not include an antiphon (as in the case of Compline), you should utilize the tone known astonus in directum (“the direct tone”).
- Each psalm is composed of a number of verses.
- If the initial half is very lengthy, there is flex, which is indicated by a +.
Consider the following example:Parátum cor ejus speráre in Dómino,confirmátum est cor ejus * non commovébitur donec despciat inimicos suos,confirmátum est cor ejus * non commovébitur donec despciat inimicos suos In this way, each psalm tone has four distinct parts: a start, a bend, a middle, and a finish.
- Here is the beginning, followed by the middle * and, finally, the conclusion.
- At initially, you’ll most likely count out the syllables incorrectly, resulting in a mismatch.
- As a result, you’ll require a rudimentary understanding of chant notation.
- But, to get you started, the “do” of a chant is represented by a C-shaped figure at the beginning of the chant’s first line (as in “do-re-mi”).
All of the notes are of the same duration. In addition, if two notes are immediately on top of each other, you should begin with the lower note and then sing the uppermost note. Apart from that, it is read from left to right as is customary.
Singing the Psalms: A Guide for Modern Worship
“A psalm is the blessing of the people, the praise of God, the commendation of the multitude, the applause of all, the speech of every man, the voice of the Church, the sonorous profession of faith, devotion replete with authority, the joy of liberty, the noise of good cheer, and the echo of gladness all rolled into one. It soothes wrath, provides relief from tension, and eases sadness; it provides protection at night and education during the day; it is a shield in times of dread; it is a feast of holiness; it is the picture of calm; it is a promise of peace and harmony.” -Anthony Ambrose (ca.
The book of Psalms has a crucial part in worship, serving both a Scripture reading as well as a musical expression of praise and thanksgiving.
In reality, the wordpsalm is derived from the Greek wordpsalmos, which literally translates as “song sung to harp music.” There are a variety of materials available to us today that make it easier to sing psalms in worship, including the following.
- Psalter resources include the United Methodist Hymnal (UMH), Lutheran Book of Common Worship and Book of Common Worship – Daily Prayer, the Anglican Chant Psalter, the Concordia Psalter, and the onlinePsalterresource, which includes five psalter collections with familiar hymn tunes, recordings of the songs, and searchable indexes.
But isn’t the psalter meant to be used in traditional religious services? Isn’t it true that the musical replies are based on ancient chants? What role does it play in contemporary worship? It’s critical to grasp the historical context in which we find ourselves before moving on to the present. In case you’re interested, here’s an overview of the history of psalm singing in worship services: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of them.
Until roughly the 18th century, the practice of singing the psalms was widespread among Christian congregations. It was customary to recite Psalms in a spontaneous, speech-like way, employing psalm tones and basic melodic recitation patterns (source). During the 18th century, many Protestant churches began to replace psalms with hymns, which became more popular (source). Gradually, this practice resulted in the establishment of choirs and the increased use of solo singing in worship, with less and less participation from the congregation as a whole.
- The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the subsequent renovation of Roman Catholic liturgy featured the use of psalms in between other Scripture readings, which was a part of the Second Vatican Council’s vision (source).
- This kind of psalmody was created in France in the early 1950s and is sometimes referred to as Gelineau psalmody, after its founder, Joseph Gelineau, who was born in the country (source).
- The hymnal from 1989, on the other hand, has a psalter in the rear with 100 psalms and answers (correlated with the Revised Common Lectionary).
- The Psalter Hymnal of the Christian Reformed Church, published in 1987, has metrical arrangements of all 150 psalms in a single volume.
For daily worship, the Taizé Community in France has created a series of simple psalm arrangements, and many musicians have made songs based on psalm passages in popular or modern styles (see several exampleshere).
How to Read the Psalter
It wasn’t until the 18th century that the practice of singing the Psalms became widespread among Christian congregations. With the use of Psalm tones and basic melodic formulae, psalm chanting was done in a free, speech-like way (source). During the 18th century, many Protestant churches began to replace psalms with hymns, a practice that continues to the present day (source). Slowly but steadily, this practice resulted in the establishment of choirs and the increased use of solo singing in worship, with a decreasing amount of involvement from the entire congregation.
- The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the subsequent renewal of Roman Catholic liturgy featured the use of psalms in between other Scripture readings, which was a part of the Second Vatican Council (source).
- In France, in the early 1950s, a new kind of psalmody was established, which is known as Gelineau psalmody, after the man who invented it: Joseph Gelineau (source).
- Although there are 100 psalms and answers at the back of the book from 1989, it is not included in the hymnal from 1989.
- ThePointed Psalms, or psalms with stressed syllables indicated to ease singing using psalm tones, are included in theLutheran Book of Worship (1978), which was published by the United Church of Christ.
- In many congregations, the addition of the book of Psalms in the Revised Common Lectionary (1994) has resulted in an upsurge in the practice of psalm-reading and the usage of the psalter (source).
How to Sing Psalm Tones
Singing the psalms in psalm tones, which is common in Episcopal and Lutheran churches, among others, helps us (as a community of faith) to feel more connected to the early church (pre-1700s). Primary Psalm tones are divided into four groups, one for each mode of the psalms (source). It is OK to use any psalm tone with any psalm; however, if you want to utilize a communal answer, it is recommended that you use a psalm tone in the same key as the congregational response. Each psalm tone is composed of two measures or tonal patterns, for a total of eight notes in each psalm tone.
Make a natural declamation of the initial portion of the sentence while singing it on this pitch, as if you were saying the words.
On the final note of the measure, sing the remaining words of the sentence. This procedure should be repeated for the second measure and the second line of text. Take a look at the following articles for more in-depth descriptions as well as various audio, video, and graphic examples:
- Psalm Tones
- Psalm Chanting
- How to Chant the Psalms Singing the Psalms is a difficult task.
Practical Resources for Modern Worship
Some music collections and resources to assist in facilitating psalm singing in contemporary worship contexts are included below:
1.The People’s Lectionary(Hal Hopson)
This collection, which has a total of 117 distinct responses, provides a setting for each and every Psalm featured in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). Included are suggestions for incorporating choirs and soloists of different ages, as well as a range of accompaniment styles and instrumental sections.
2.Taize: Songs for Prayer(Jacques BerthierTaize Community)
This collection, which has a total of 117 distinct answers, offers a setting for each and every Psalm that appears in the Revised Common Lectionary. Included are suggestions for incorporating choirs and soloists of different ages, as well as a range of accompaniment styles and instrumental sections. –
3.A Lectionary Psalter(John Schiavone)
An anthology of Psalms and Gospel acclamations for use with the three-year lectionary cycle. There are SATB parts, piano accompaniments, and guitar chords included in this set.
4.Lectionary Psalms(Michael Guimant)
A complete set of responsorial Psalms for use during the three-year lectionary cycle is presented here. It includes flexible part-writing, organ/piano accompaniments, and guitar chords, among other things.
Creative ways to use the psalter in modern worship
It is possible to include the psalter into modern worship services in a variety of innovative ways. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Use a contemporary chorus in place of the traditional antiphon.
Among the songs that go well with Psalm 143 are “Great Is the Lord,” “10,000 Reasons,” which utilizes language directly from Psalm 103, and “A Mighty Fortress,” which works well with Psalm 46. To find music based on Psalms, go to websites such as wordtoworship.com or contemporarypsalms.blogspot.com.
2. Incorporate instrumentalists.
Perhaps, instead of a sung response, you might have a brief musical reaction instead (flute, violin, saxophone, clarinet, etc.). Alternatively, you may emphasize the responsive reading of the Psalm text and then invite the congregation to join you in singing a refrain.
3. Use a handbell accompaniment.
Instead of accompanying the sung response with a piano or organ, try employing a simple handbell accompaniment to accompany the response. This PDF contains ostinati accompaniments for all eight psalm tones and 35 psalter replies, as published in the United Methodist Hymnal (up through Psalm 32). Many of these accompaniments may be performed by a small group of ringers, or even by a single person in some cases. In the months of Advent and Lent, I believe this would be particularly useful. Handbells in Worship: 10 Ingenious Ways to Incorporate Them into Your Service
4. Introduce visuals.
In lieu of utilizing a piano or organ to accompany the sung answer, try employing a simple handbell accompaniment instead. It contains ostinati accompaniments for all eight psalm tones and 35 psalter replies, as published in the United Methodist Hymnal (UMH) (up through Psalm 32). Numerous accompaniments can be performed by a small group of ringers, or even by a single individual in some instances. In the months of Advent and Lent, I believe this would be particularly powerful. Handbells in Worship: 10 Ingenious Ways to Incorporate Them
5. Tell a story.
Adapt the Psalm text – maybe from The Message – and transform the regular Scripture reading into a theatrical tale to tell the story of Jesus’ life.
Increase the impact of the reading by having a few individuals act out the text as it is read, or by using visuals. (source)
6. Make it intergenerational.
Include a variety of readers of varying ages. Participants of all ages should be invited to assist with visuals or musical accompaniment. Men, women, and children/youth should all answer at different moments throughout the responsive reading to create variety. (source)
Psalm Singing in Roman Catholic Liturgy
Prior to the Second Vatican Council, Roman Catholics were considered to be an unbiblical group of people. Everything has changed now, and the scriptures are well-known to those who regularly attend services at their local church. The employment of vernacular translations, as well as the restoration of the Responsorial Psalm into the Mass after an absence of more than fifteen hundred years, have both played a significant role in this change. By reviving and reforming the Responsorial Psalm, the post-conciliar liturgical reformers hoped to put into the lips of worshippers the sung phrases of small psalm excerpts as refrains, because this was always asungitem in the form in which it thrived in the fifth to sixth centuries.
Consequently, the post-Conciliar reformers were determined to re-engage the people as an important part of the chant that follows the First Reading and connects that reading to the Gospel.
In its most basic form, the Responsorial Psalm is comprised of a refrain (often known as a response), which is sung first by one or more cantors and then repeated by the entire congregation, followed by a stanza (often of four lines, or two psalm verses), which is sung by the cantor, with the congregation singing the refrain after each stanza.
- Even while not all academics agree on this point, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does give instructions on how to sing the “Responsorial” Psalm without responding to the words.
- The effect was similar to that of a litany, and the technique is frequently referred to as “antiphonal psalmody.” Since the publication of the revisedOrdo Lectionum Missae in 1969, a wide musical repertory has been created in a variety of genres, spanning forty-five years.
- Complete psalms, on the other hand, are used in the Liturgy of the Hours, where they are bookended by an antiphon before and after them, respectively.
- Throughout the Catholic Church, thePsalliteproject has paved the way for a slew of new variants on the traditional refrain plus a psalm form, with future problems appearing in the areas of multilingual or intercultural psalmody.
- (Psalm 47:8; cf.
- A large body of his work may be found in hymnbooks all throughout the English-speaking globe, and he is a regular contributor to liturgical journals, blogs, and discussion forums.
- From 1986 until 1998, he served as president of Universa Laus, an international research organization dedicated to liturgical music.
- This material is distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This article should be cited as: Inwood, Paul (2014) “Psalm Singing in the Roman Catholic Communion,” The Yale ISM Review, vol. 1 no. 1, pp. 10–13. You may find it at: Download the article as a PDF: In the Roman Catholic liturgy, Psalms are sung.
Psalm Tones for English – Learn to Sing Them in Half and Hour
Rome was considered an unbiblical society before to the Second Vatican Council. Everything has changed now, and the scriptures are well-known to those who regularly attend services at their local churches. The employment of vernacular translations and the restoration of the Responsorial Psalm into the Mass, which had been absent for more than fifteen hundred years, have both played a significant role in this change. By reviving and reforming the Responsorial Psalm, the post-conciliar liturgical reformers hoped to put into the lips of worshippers the sung sentences of small psalm excerpts as refrains, because this was always asungitem in the form in which it thrived from around the fifth to sixth century.
Consequently, the post-Conciliar reformers were determined to re-engage the people as an important part of the chant that follows the First Reading and connects that reading to the Gospel message.
Traditionally, the Responsorial Psalm form consists of a refrain (often referred to as a response) sung first by one or more cantors and then repeated by all, followed by a stanza (often of four lines, or two psalm verses) sung by the cantor and the congregation joining in to sing the refrain after each stanza.
Even while not all academics agree on this point, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does give instructions on how to sing the “Responsorial” Psalm without responding to the text.
Antiphonal psalmody is a term used to describe the impact of the music, which was similar to a litany.
The fact that the new Lectionary only provides fragments from psalm, which are generally divided into four stanzas, rather than the complete psalm is a source of disappointment for some (which has in fact happened more recently with the increasing use of Entrance and Communion psalms with their antiphons).
(“Antiphonal psalmody” is a phrase that is often used wrongly to refer to this form, which should be referred to as “alternating psalmody” in its monastic form, because it is performed alternately by two sides of the choir or church.) The responsorial style has also been embraced as a new manner of singing the psalms in the Anglican and Episcopal churches, albeit not to the same degree as in the Roman Catholic churches.
- Throughout the Catholic Church, thePsalliteproject has paved the way for a slew of new variants on the traditional refrain plus a psalm form, with new issues appearing in the areas of multilingual or multicultural psalmody.
- In the book of Psalms, verse 8 says, Paul Inwood is a liturgist, composer, organist, choral conductor, author, and clinician who is well-known all over the world.
- As a result of his efforts, Taizé music was introduced into the United Kingdom in the 1970s, and in the 1980s, Iona Community music was introduced into the United States.
- By the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, he was honored as Pastoral Musician of the Year for 2009.
- Recommendation for Citation: Inwood, Paul (2014) “Psalm Singing in the Roman Catholic Communion,” The Yale ISM Review: Vol.
1: No. 1 (October), Article 10. You may find it at the following URL: As a PDF, you may read the following article: In the Roman Catholic liturgy, the singing of Psalms is a tradition.
David is an Englishman who currently resides in the state of New Hampshire, in the United States. He is an artist, educator, published author, and broadcaster who maintains a permanent position as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in St. Louis, Missouri. In the Way of Beauty curriculum, which is available at TMC, students learn about the relationship between Catholic culture, with a particular emphasis on art, and the liturgy. In 1993, David was welcomed into the Church of England in London.
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All the Psalms in Gregorian Chant
I just went to the websites of the Sacred Music magazine and the New Liturgical Movement and found them to be quite interesting. The first specifies that Sacred Music accepts entries that are not sought. Specifically, we are looking for editorials on current topics in church music, analysis of current or historical documents, reports on parish life as it affects pastoral liturgy, scholarly research on gregorian chant and classical polyphony, practical guides to sacred music, concert reports, reviews of new and older works, news articles, and letters to the editor.
- Simply put, it is a practical guide to managing parish life and informing the lay populace about recent innovations in sacred music directing, coping with rebellious priests, and so on.
- The second does not provide any hint as to what it is intended to do in life or on the internet.
- A single site contains connections to a wide range of articles on a wide range of liturgical issues as well as to conversations, conference papers, vocations, ceremonial guides, and anything else you can think of.
- UPDATE: I’ve just received an email from the editor with the link – it’s a little way down on the left side of the homepage of the website, which isn’t particularly rational for a first-time visitor.
- But, hey, it’s all right!
- Another point of interest that is unrelated to the subject: We have just finished hosting the Lay Clerks from St.
- They joined the Sistine Chapel Choir in singing the Whitsun/Pentecost liturgy at St.
- The prevailing judgment, which was extremely restrained, was that the Church deserved far greater choral music in its own sanctuary.
- Other visiting choirs have expressed similar sentiments, which I have confirmed.
And, did you know that the singers of Cappella Giulia are paid nearly three times as much as the lay clerks at Westminster Abbey (who are among the highest paid in the United Kingdom)? Should I make a new topic, or should I just leave it as it is? Hmmm, I wonder if I will.
Music for Mass
I just visited the websites of the Sacred Music magazine and the New Liturgical Movement. Both organizations provide excellent resources. Submissions to Sacred Music are accepted on an uninvited basis, according to the first paragraph. Our editorials on current topics in church music, analysis of current or historical documents, reports on parish life and how it affects pastoral liturgy, scholarly research concerning gregorian chant and classical polyphony, practical guides to sacred music, reports on concerts, reviews of new and older works, news reports, and letters to the editor are all welcome.
- Simply put, it is a practical guide to managing parish life and informing the lay populace about recent advancements in sacred music directing, coping with obstinate priests, and so on and so forth.
- Both in reality and on the internet, the second has no clue of what it is intended to do.
- You can find everything on the website’s single homepage, which includes links to publications on a variety of liturgical issues as well as discussions and conference proceedings.
- No need for me to provide them a sample of what we’ve just created, on the other hand.
- Also included is a greeting from a German Cardinal and Archbishop that was sent back in 1997.
- What am I supposed to make of the fact that this website’s primary goal is to educate people about the world?
- That’s just how life is in the Catholic Church – we’re still trying to figure out where we belong.
- Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, were recently welcomed by us in Amsterdam.
- Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican with the Sistine Chapel Choir as part of the Whitsun/Pentecost liturgy, which included the entire choir, including the boys.
- In other words (and in my opinion), the choral music at the Vatican is dreadful.
- Also, I’ve personally witnessed it in person on Christmas Eves in the past.
In addition, did you know that the singers of the Cappella Giulia are compensated nearly three times more than the lay clerks at Westminster Abbey, who are among the highest compensated in the United Kingdom. Would it be better to create a new thread? To the Editor: Could be worth a go, hmmm?
All the Psalms, Responses and Acclamations for the 12 Days of Christmas
Read Kate’s Gentle Guide to Her Christmas Music for more information. How gloomy was the Midwinter in terms of weather? And what exactly is the significance of Christmas gifts? Visit Kate’s blog to learn more about Psalms, Alleluias, and church music, or follow Kate’s current news on Facebook to keep up with her latest adventures. Kate writes a blog for The Tablet as well.
Hear the music
Do you want to hear what Kate’s psalms sound like? Click here. Here are a few samples, and you may hear moresung by our friends in churches in other nations by clicking on the links below.
- At Adelaide Cathedral, the 4th Sunday Advent CPsalm 79, “Lord, make us turn to you, let us see your face and we shall be rescued,” was sung. At the Ascension, CPsalm 46, “God mounts his throne to screams of gladness,” was also performed. Psalm 29, “I will bless you, Lord, for you have rescued me,” performed in the Eendrachtskapel in Rotterdam during the Easter Vigil St James Episcopal, Birmingham singingPsalm 79/80, “The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel” (at 9:45″)
- St John the Evangelist, Barrhead singingPsalm 136, “O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I do not remember you”
Finding the music you are looking for
We have music for Catholic congregations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the United States and the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, and Canada to assist you in planning your liturgy. We are delighted to learn that the music is equally appreciated by congregations of various religious traditions. In addition, we have all of the Psalms for weddings from the Lectionaries for the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The music for the Mass is available for free download in pdf format to aid in the singing of the Mass in your church, and you can hear an electronic approximation of it as well – we don’t usually have recordings because this is music that you will perform and bring to life.
- Psalms and Canticles for the Lectionary of the United Kingdom and Ireland
- Sunday Psalms and Canticles for the Lectionary of Australia and New Zealand
- Weekday Psalms and Canticles for the Lectionary of Australia and New Zealand
- Psalms and Canticles for the Lectionary of the United States and the Philippines
- Psalms and Canticles for the Lectionary of Canada
What constitutes a good Psalm answer, have you ever pondered that question?
Gospel Acclamations and Alleluias
- Alleluias and Lent Gospel Acclamations for the Lectionary of the United Kingdom and Ireland
- Alleluias and Lent Gospel Acclamations for the Lectionary of Australia and New Zealand
- Alleluias and Lent Gospel Acclamations for the Lectionary of the United States and the Philippines
- Alleluias and Lent Gospel Acclamations for the Lectionary of Canada
You might be interested in learning more about the music for the word Alleluia, or how Kate sets the poem.
Responsorial Psalms and Acclamations for Holy Week and Easter
- Holy Week and Easter Music for the Lectionary of the United Kingdom and Ireland
- Holy Week and Easter Music for the Lectionary of Australia and New Zealand
- Holy Week and Easter Music for the Lectionary of the United States and the Philippines
- Holy Week and Easter Music for the Lectionary of Canada
Read Kate’s Gentle Guides to her music for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter, as well as other holidays.
Responsorial Psalms and Acclamations for the Twelve Days of Christmas
- Christmas Music for the Lectionary of the United Kingdom and Ireland
- Christmas Music for the Lectionary of Australia and New Zealand
- Christmas Music for the Lectionary of the United States and the Philippines
- Christmas Music for the Lectionary of Canada
Music round the Church’s 3-year Cycle
- Music for the Lectionary in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Sunday
- Music for the Lectionary in Australia and New Zealand by Sunday
- Music for the Lectionary in the United States and the Philippines by Sunday
- Music for the Canadian Lectionary by Sunday
Music for Feasts of Our Lady
- Musical selections for the Feasts of Our Lady in the United Kingdom and Ireland Lectionary
- Musical selections for the Feasts of Our Lady in Australia and New Zealand Lectionary
- Musical selections for the Feasts of Our Lady in the United States and the Philippines Lectionary
- Musical selections for the Feasts of Our Lady in Canada Lectionary
You may read what Kate has to say on Mary Feasts, women’s voices, and the Magnificat in her writings. What other folks have to say Kate Keefe composed the music for the Mass. Church music that has a strong feeling of the Catholic rhythmInteresting and innovative settings It’s not monotonous. I usually try to slip in a small challenge every week. Written by:Facebook reviewers