Are the 3 cursing psalms that are omitted in the Psalter also omitted in the missal

I heard somewhere that due to the cursing nature of a few psalms that the 2nd Vatican council decided to omit them and replace them with OT canticles for the new brevivary did they also decide to omit them from the new Roman missal

Vatican II didn’t do it. But what it did do was encourage the public recitation of certain hours and more prayer of the office by the laity. The powers that be–ultimately Pope Paul–thought us lowly simple lay-folk couldn’t handle or understand the cursing psalms, and so they were just omitted, breaking a continuity that went back before Christ’s Incarnation…

As far as I know, they are not prayed in the Missal either (I’m not sure of their history there, but I don’t think the psalter in its entirety was ever part of the Roman Mass).

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There are also some imprecatory verses that are left out of psalms, the remainders of which are used.


The psalm for Corpus Christi last Sunday - Psalm 109(110) - leaves out the part about shattering kings and heaping up the dead / filling nations with corpses (depending on your translation). Similarly, Psalm 108 (a real doozy) is included the lectionary but with the awkward parts omitted which, to be fair, is probably for the best - the imprecatory psalms are interesting but require more than a bit of careful catechesis/


I do agree on leaving them out of the missal. But a priest should be able to have enough knowledge to understand the meaning of these psalms

The Propers both prior to and after the Council are full of psalm verses: the Introit, the Gradual, the Alleluia verse, the Offertory and the Communion Antiphon. but usually only 1-4 verses. One exception is the Tract on the first Sunday of Lent, which is almost the entirety of Ps, 90(91), and similarly for Palm Sunday, a large chunk of Ps. 21(22).

So yes the psalter is widely distributed through the propers of the Roman Gradual even though there isn’t a responsory psalm. Same verses, different distribution, and different musical treatment.

As for the cursing psalms, our abbey does use them in the Monastic Office. They are allowed ad libitum. The schema used by our abbey (monastic schema B, the psalter in 1 week), puts all three of them at Vigils, i.e. 5 am when hardly any faithful are likely to be present. They also maintain the imprecatory verses in the ones where only some verses (like 109) are imprecatory. Monks don’t water down their psalter :wink:

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