SPLIT: Can any song/hymn replace psalm/gospel?

As the Responsorial this week (22nd Sunday in OT) we are doing David Haas’ ‘Go out to all the world.’ It’s a great 6/8 piece that the people will sing even without the music in front of them since we have Journeysongs and it’s a Gather.
Anyone ever use it?
peace,
H

My only concern is that it be the actual text of the psalm and not a song masquerading as a psalm. The GIRM is very clear that a hymn/song should not be replacing the responsorial psalm. I am very leery of using Haas’ material because he tends to paraphrase things.

Never heard of it. My parish uses “Respond & Acclaim” for all the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamations. Some of the Psalm tones and Gospel Acclamation tones are really beautiful (take for example, the psalm from R&A for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), and some of them are rather odd and strange sounding. Also, from experience, Owen Alstott (the composer of R&A) usually doesn’t add or change the official language. Same goes for his “Heritage Mass” setting.

I like the ones from GIA, especially the Proulx settings. Now, OCP does sell one Spanish-language setting of psalms that is faithful. It is by Manuel Garcia and his Magnificat is easy to sing.

Benedictgal, I have listened to some of Proulx’s settings, and they are indeed beautiful. Now, the only problem with some of his settings (take, for example, his “Missa Emmanuel” setting), he adds language. For example, his Agnus Dei:

Jesus, wisdom and mighty Lord: you
take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, have
mercy on us.

Now, in the bold, he doesn’t just simply say “Lamb of God”, but adds his own petition. That’s not right, is it?

No, the words of the Mass are not supposed to be altered by song writers. I hope the new translation will provide a chance to tighten things up.

I usually just take the text and write a simple tune to the Psalm. Occasionally I will use the OCP one from the missalette, but only if it is real easy.

That’s why I only confined myself to A Commmunity Mass because it was faithful to the text. In fact, he got to rewrite it before he died. It is sad that he got bitten by the “edit” bug because he really wrote some beautiful music.

His rewrite is faithful to the text.

Go out to all the world is a great psalm!

The organist at my parish uses the WLP psalms… Those are some of the worst psalms i’ve ever heard… musically anyway. I always try to pick a nice common psalm…or find another version of that weeks psalm…

Once in a while the choir director at my parish takes the refrain from WLP and matches a gregorian tone with the verses…im not too crazy about that either

That’s not a bad idea at all. There might be some psalms at the Chabanel Psalm Project (chabanelpsalms.org/responsorial_psalms.htm) that may interest you. I like a lot of the settings by Jeff Ostrowski, but it sounds like you may like some of Fr. Weber’s settings, which are very simple.

It bears the ICEL copyright so I’m safe. No?

stjohns-savage.org/stjohns/music/117%20Go%20Out.pdf

we really like David Haas songs. His choir attended a mass I was leading once and I happened to choose 3 of his songs that day. They came up after Mass and said he would have been honored by my interpretation of his music. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

Has anyone happened to use James Chepponis’s “Melodic Gloria”? It’s a really nice version, published by GIA. I love the “glory” at the end of the second verse. It jumps from high D to an A, and then back to high D. Really gives me the chills.

I’m no expert as to whether this is allowed or not, but it does look like a paraphrase of the actual psalm text in parts, which is:

R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

I don’t know how close a text has to be to the actual psalm translation to be considered “close enough,” but I guess my question is, why mess with it? Why not just use a setting that follows the text word-for-word so you wouldn’t even have to be concerned about it? Just my $0.02, seems like it would be easier.

I had never heard it before but I found a YouTube of it. Sounds nice.

I’m reluctant to introduce any new parts of the Mass ordinary, with the new translation of the missal coming out soon. Just as the people were getting to learn parts well, we would have to change them. That probably means I’m sticking to People’s Mass (groan).

btw - wondering if anyone else used Janet Sullivan Whitaker’s “Sing Out My Soul” during the Feast of the Assumption…?

It’s a beautiful and powerful setting of the Magnificat. Check it out if you can. We actually sang it during the proclamation of the Gospel!

Also, we used a setting of Psalm 45 called “Arrayed in Gold” by Trevor Thomson. Great, simple song.

There is a caution about using a composer’s arrangements of a psalm, especially if it is going to substitute the responsorial psalm. Sometimes, the composer will change words and it renders it more a song than the actual psalm. This is what the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) states on what should be used for the responsorial psalm:

In the dioceses of the United States of America, the following may also be sung in place of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary for Mass: either the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, as found either in the Roman Gradual or Simple Gradual or in another musical setting; or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of the psalms and antiphons, including psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the responsorial Psalm.

Now, the caveat is that the GIRM assumes that the settings are approved either by the USCCB or the diocesan bishops. In some instances, the song books do not have anything within them indicating that such approval was given. Spirit and Song carries no notation indicating that its been approved by the USCCB, for example. That is what I learned based on my research.

Something else to consider is that the parts of the Mass need to match the official texts of the Church. They cannot be paraphrased. Marty Haugen’s Mass of Creation (the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei) do not match the text word for word. The same holds true for some of the other settings that OCP publishes (even though I realize that Haugen writes for GIA). The really suspect ones are those that OCP publishes in Spanish.

Your reference to singing something during the proclamation of the Gospel is troubling because, with all due respect, this is ilicit. Only the priest or the deacon should be proclaiming the Gospel. The priest or deacon can certainly chant the Gospel, but, no one else should be singing. According to Redemptionis Sacramentum:

[63.] Within the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, the reading of the Gospel, which is “the high point of the Liturgy of the Word”,139 is reserved by the Church’s tradition to an ordained minister.140 Thus it is not permitted for a layperson, even a religious, to proclaim the Gospel reading in the celebration of Holy Mass, nor in other cases in which the norms do not explicitly permit it.141

Now, that does not mean that you could not have sung this particular setting at the offertory. You just can’t do this during the Gospel. Not only is the insertion of a song in the middle of the Gospel very problematic, but, there is also the issue of the text. Please note what Redemptionis Sacramentum states:

[62.] It is also illicit to omit or to substitute the prescribed biblical readings on one’s own initiative, and especially “to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God”.138

Now, granted, there was no omission, but, there was a substitution of a portion of the Gospel that, more than likely, did not even match the official text of the Lectionary. This, too, is ilicit, according to RS.

Actually, as a further clarification, ICEL does not translate the psalms. These fall under the purview of the individual national episcopal conferences. Haas made his own edits to the psalm by going for inclusive language, substituting the official texts with his own words and even adding a phrase to the actual psalm. The Lectionary was revised in 1998 by the USCCB so we should use that particular language.

Last Sunday was the feast of the Assumption. (BTW here in India this coincides with our Independence day so double rejoicing for us Catholics)
The Psalm for the day was from Psalm 45. However, after the first reading, instead of the recitation or singing of the Psalm, the choir sang “Here I am Lord” (Isaiah). The choir for this particular Mass often sings a hymn instead of a Psalm and almost invariably the hymn has no connection with the Psalm. For instance, some weeks ago they sang the hymn “Listen” and often they sing “Oh the Word of my Lord”
I believe they think they ought to exhort people to listen to the readings more attentively and that is how they choose the hymns.
My question is - Is it right to sing another hymn instead of reciting or singing the prescribed Psalm for the day?
The second thing is that at this same Mass, probably because it was the feast of the Assumption, this choir sang a Marian hymn at communion. In fact some time ago, our main parish choir who sings for the high Mass on Sundays even sang a Marian hymn during communion on the feast of the Ascension of our Lord.
My thinking is that the entire Eucharistic celebration being a celebration of our Lord, there is no room for Marian devotion during the Eucharistic celebration. The only concession I feel should be to sing a Marian hymn as the recessional.

Can someone clarify?

No, it is not permitted. Rome has allowed many more fludities in the Mass in India but this is not one of them (ask the priest to show you the altar sacramentary- if it is printed locally, and it is only a direct reprint - then it will have them. Otherwise ask him to show you the book he used for the Mass of the Assumption, since in India there is a special Mass that unites the two celebrations of Assumption and Independence)

The second thing is that at this same Mass, probably because it was the feast of the Assumption, this choir sang a Marian hymn at communion. In fact some time ago, our main parish choir who sings for the high Mass on Sundays even sang a Marian hymn during communion on the feast of the Ascension of our Lord.
My thinking is that the entire Eucharistic celebration being a celebration of our Lord, there is no room for Marian devotion during the Eucharistic celebration. The only concession I feel should be to sing a Marian hymn as the recessional.

Can someone clarify?

No, there is no requirement NOT to sing a Marian song during the Communion, and on Marian feasts, the Church’s own antiphons are Marian in character. This is because the Communion antiphon/song/hymn is not merely Eucharistic in character but rather unites the entire congregation around the theme of the day or the feast as they receive the Body and Blood of Christ which draws them into closer unity…

This is what the General Instruction of the Roman Missal states about hymns/songs being used in place of the Responsorial Psalm (for the dioceses of America):

In the dioceses of the United States of America, the following may also be sung in place of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary for Mass: either the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, as found either in the Roman Gradual or Simple Gradual or in another musical setting; or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of the psalms and antiphons, including psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the responsorial Psalm.

However, I’m not really sure about India. All I know is that the US should correspond with what is printed above.

About Marian hymns being used during Holy Communion, there is really no rule. However, the Communion hymn should generally be Christ-centered, IMHO.

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