Question about the small changes in the Mass


Ok I am asking for the actual answer, not opinion weather it is right or wrong. I know that prior to the New Translation there was a lot of areas that had options, Most if not all of those have been removed.
My question is this, during the responsoral psalm is it ok "allowed for the verses to be rearranged, and wording changed, or it is suppose to be done exactly the way it is in the missal? I ask because there is a parish near me that i go to on Holy days if not able to make Mass at my Home parish that never does the responsoral the way it is written.


The changes were to what used to be called the “Sacramentary” not the Lectionary. The readings and the Psalms weren’t change. The parish might use a different arrangement of the Psalm.


It’s my understanding that the missal is to be followed word by word (black) and action by action (red).


This is a good question as I’ve heard the “changes” (deviations from the Missalette) both in the English and Spanish Masses, probably more in the Spanish Masses. Somewhat frustrating trying to follow it.


From the GIRM:

  1. …In the Dioceses of the United States of America, instead of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary, there may be sung either the Responsorial Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or the Responsorial Psalm or the Alleluia Psalm from the Graduale Simplex, as described in these books, or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the Responsorial Psalm.


It is not followed to the “tee” in my parish. Does get confusing.


Keep in mind that sometimes a Mass (due to the Saint day, or Feast, etc may have a optional Psalm that may be used in place of the “regular” one listed in the Missals in the Pews.

I’ve also see a different “translation” used from time to time if Psalm doesn’t “sing” well to music (more reason to Chant the Psalm).

God Bless


One of the “problems” I find with the Mass in Spanish is that the Lectionary in Spanish is from one country, I think Mexico (I do not have the Lectionary at home), and the small Missals for the congregation are from the USA! Very often the Responsorial Psalm is not the same!!! That has been explained to the Spanish-speakers, and they know to listen and follow the instructions of the Lector for the response. Now, if the person is not a native Spanish-speaker and it helps him or her to follow the written . . . then that could be more difficult!

I hope this insight helps!

Luz Maria


Ok, let me clarify, they are not using another approved psalm as you described. They are useing the Psalm that is in the Missal. However they are changing the order of the verses and the wording of the verses. kind of like in the old translation of the creed we said seen and unseen now we say visible and invisible. basically the same thing but different. they are using wording that mean mostly the same thing but not what is written in the Missal.


It does. Thank you.

That probably explains the Gloria as well, which I haven’t heard follow the Spanish texts printed in the U.S., yet.


The Church has gone to great efforts to choose words carefully. Therefore it seems reasonable to use those words chosen. Liturgiam Authenticam (2001):
[LEFT]50. Since the liturgical books of the Roman Rite contain many fundamental words of the theological and spiritual tradition of the Roman Church, every effort must be made to preserve this system of vocabulary rather than substituting other words that are alien to the liturgical and catechetical usage of the people of God in a given cultural and ecclesial context. For this reason, the following principles in particular are to be observed:


[LEFT]a) In translating words of greater theological significance, an appropriate degree of coordination should be sought between the liturgical text and the authoritative vernacular translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, provided that such a translation exists or is being prepared, whether in the language in question or in a very closely related language;


[LEFT]b) Whenever it would be inappropriate to use the same vocabulary or the same expression in the liturgical text as in the Catechism, the translator should be solicitous to render fully the doctrinal and theological meaning of the terms and of the text itself;


[LEFT]c) One should maintain the vocabulary that has gradually developed in a given vernacular language to distinguish the individual liturgical ministers, vessels, furnishings, and vesture from similar persons or things pertaining to everyday life and usage; words that lack such a sacral character are not to be used instead;


[LEFT]d) In translating important words, due constancy is to be observed throughout the various parts of the Liturgy, with due regard for n. 53 below.[/LEFT]



Does this mean one shouldn’t translate “confiteor” as “I confess” (Confiteor) and as “I acknowledge” (in Credo)? Or “hostia” as “host” versus “victim”? Or “colere” as “worship” as opposed to “devotion”? (The latter isn’t in the Mass AFAIK but it is on translated documents.)

I understand the principle but it seems like this would be difficult to enforce.


Perhaps the psalms they’re using qualify as “another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.” Otherwise I’m afraid I don’t know.


This is what I see. They remove the beauty and at times omit entire verses. I read what is written and ignore what they are saying.


As with many questions, you should ask at the parish where this is happening. As another poster said, they may be using another form or setting of the psalm that is in an approved document, in which case nothing is wrong except that you can’t follow along in the missalette. Or, the versions in the lectionary and the misselettes don’t match (similar to what was described for Spanish speakers). Sometimes I see that happening, especially when a priest choses to use optional memorial readings that may have a different version of the same psalm. The psalm selections for each day don’t necessarily use all the verses of the psalm. If you only attend there on HDO, this may be happening because there can be more than one set of readings for the Holy Days.


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