Responsorial Psalm

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manniemain
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Responsorial Psalm

Post by manniemain »

Can someone advise here?
To what extent must the wording of the Responsorial Psalm follow exactly the wording in the missal? We are singing Noel Donnelly's "lord make me know Your ways" this Sunday for the Responsorial Psalm but I am getting much grief from a Catechist about "breaking Vatican rules" because the response is "Lord make me know your ways" rather than the "Remember your mercy Lord" that appears in the missal.
Rob

docmattc
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by docmattc »

That's an interesting one. I asked exactly that question a while back here and failed to get a response.
Liturgiam Authenticam makes it reasonably clear that the text should not be paraphrased, so I guess that would mean settings such as Farrell's common psalm are out. I don't know the setting you're talking about

...the texts should be translated in a manner that is suitable for being set to music.

but
paraphrases are not to be substituted with the intention of making them more easily set to music.
(both LA 60, and I'm not sure how to hold both of these statements together)

Whether using a different line of the psalm to the one given as the response constitutes a paraphrase is a point we could debate forever.

My criterion for deciding whether the alternative response was appropriate would be to judge whether or not the different response drew out the particular theme from the psalm that makes it the bridge between first reading and Gospel. ie does changing the response hinder the job of the psalm or not?

On the other hand, GIRM does make it fairly clear that singing the psalm is so important that one can sing a common setting for several weeks if a different one every week is too much to manage, so the world isn't necessarily going to end if you sing "the wrong one"

There are other complications- Different countries have slightly different versions of the response. The USA isn't always word for word with us in the response which makes it interesting using books like the Grail/Gelineau "Lectionary Psalms", or even Psalite, and doubly difficult using Schiavone's "Lectionary Psalter" because this uses the text of the verses from whatever the US approved translation is too. I think its New American Bible rather than Grail.

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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by docmattc »

I wrote:My criterion for deciding whether the alternative response was appropriate would be to judge whether or not the different response drew out the particular theme from the psalm that makes it the bridge between first reading and Gospel. ie does changing the response hinder the job of the psalm or not?

But then GIRM allows the possibility of the psalm to be sung straight through without a response at all, in which case the job of the response is made redundant.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by Southern Comfort »

The Lectionary makes it quite clear that you can use any response you like, as long as it's in the Lectionary.

The wording in the Missal (i.e. Lectionary) can vary. For example, in GB we have no less than 6 translations of scripture approved for liturgical use: Douai, Knox, JB, RSV, NEB, NRSV, but not NJB. Psalms are normally Grail (but of course there are no less than four different versions of Grail)..... The fact that these are not printed in a Lectionary is irrelevant. You can still read/sing them from a bible anyway.

This provides (sensibly) a reasonable amount of leeway. The fact, anyway, is that you have never had to stick slavishly to the wording in the Lectionary. That being said, Farrell's common psalm is out, but that doesn't stop a lot of people from using it anyway. For me, the acid test is "Does this signifcantly detract from the prayer life of the people". If not, don't worry about it. It may even augment their spirituality.

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sidvicius
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by sidvicius »

This is an old chestnut. In the old days I would have strongly suggested to the catechist that s/he report me to the highest authority!

These days I just say stick with what's written in the local missal because that way EVERYONE'S SINGING OFF THE SAME HYMNSHEET. It avoids confusion in their tiny brains, and no more complaints. If the music you know has the 'wrong' words, find/write one that has the right ones.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by Southern Comfort »

sidvicius wrote:This is an old chestnut. In the old days I would have strongly suggested to the catechist that s/he report me to the highest authority!

These days I just say stick with what's written in the local missal because that way EVERYONE'S SINGING OFF THE SAME HYMNSHEET. It avoids confusion in their tiny brains, and no more complaints. If the music you know has the 'wrong' words, find/write one that has the right ones.


I suggest that this is a rather un-pastoral response. Every translation of the bible/psalms is nothing more than a translation. We're simply not go8ng to be singing the original - ever. So - it's not the words that count, it's whether people's spirituality is fed. A degree of common sense is required here.

nazard
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by nazard »

Southern Comfort wrote:... For example, in GB we have no less than 6 translations of scripture approved for liturgical use: Douai, Knox, JB, RSV, NEB, NRSV, but not NJB. Psalms are normally Grail (but of course there are no less than four different versions of Grail)..... The fact that these are not printed in a Lectionary is irrelevant. You can still read/sing them from a bible anyway...

You surprise me. I thought the lectionary was the NJB translation. Personally I never use it outside mass, it pulls to many punches. I stick to the Douai.

The grail psalms are definitely paraphrases in their own right if the vulgate is anything like the Hebrew. To get from "Dominus pascit me" to "the Lord is my shepherd" is quite a jump. Does anyone fancy singing "The Lord puts me out to graze?"

On a practical level, I'm with Sid on this one. The congregation get lost if you leave the missal behind.

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Vox Americana
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by Vox Americana »

nazard wrote:Does anyone fancy singing "The Lord puts me out to graze?"

Perhaps. When I am retired...

Dominus pascit me. To be acceptable under LA rules, wouldn't a more accurate translation be 'the Lord grazes me'?

Latin. Geez - and there was I thinking it had something to do with South American music and dance. :P
Vox

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contrabordun
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by contrabordun »

you could (just about) translate it as "The Lord pastures me" - I have occasionally seen pasture used as a transitive verb.
Paul Hodgetts

docmattc
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by docmattc »

contrabordun wrote:you could (just about) translate it as "The Lord pastures me" - I have occasionally seen pasture used as a transitive verb.


Can't any word be used as a verb these days? During the olympics we heard the verb 'to medal'

Perhaps we should all stick to the Hebrew http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_34lZhEUvuM

But, like sheep, we are straying, and our shepherd Musicus will soon tell us if we need guiding along the right path!

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manniemain
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by manniemain »

docmattc wrote:Can't any word be used as a verb these days? During the olympics we heard the verb 'to medal'


There are plenty of folk in churches these days who are not part of choir or music group but who like to "medal" :D
Rob

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contrabordun
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by contrabordun »

docmattc wrote:and our shepherd Musicus

I've heard of a wolf in sheep's clothing but never a shepherd in bear's.
Paul Hodgetts

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VML
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by VML »

..exact wording..'?
Where does that leave Crimond and On Eagle's Wings etc?

Reginald
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by Reginald »

I know you'll think I'm just being provocative but...when the readings at an EF Mass are to be in the vernacular, any authorised translation may be used. Since there are two forms of the one Roman Rite isn't there then a case for arguing that any liturgically approved translation may be used? Mutual enrichment should cut both ways no?

In this specific instance I'd still want to keep the same response (however worded) as one of the strengths of our liturgy is that, sometimes, it fastens your belt around you and leads you where you would rather not go.

If the catechist is proving too problematic, tell them that you're using an adaptation of the Gradual from the Graduale (don't specify which version or year and you could keep them busy for ages), or that you're using one of the Common Psalms from the Lectionary.

Finally the talk of verbs and nouns has had me singing "Shepherd me O God" all day!

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sidvicius
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Re: Responsorial Psalm

Post by sidvicius »

southern comfort wrote:Every translation of the bible/psalms is nothing more than a translation. We're simply not go8ng to be singing the original - ever. So - it's not the words that count, it's whether people's spirituality is fed. A degree of common sense is required here.


Well my first para was a joke, tongue in cheek, but also a challenge to busybodies - I have had many occasions where a good defence is the best offence. I apologise if it sounded un-pastoral.

I agree with your general sentiments SC; my suggested method of dealing with the issue is based on common sense (honest!), and practical, hard experience. But the Lectionary/Missal is the agreed translation. Paraphrase is open to debate among catechists, the agreed translation is not. Great theological minds have spent many painstaking hours working towards a translation which they believe is acceptable and spiritually helpful. Paraphrase suggests a challenge their efforts. You only have to look at the lame American translation of "O that today you would listen to his voice" to see that it doesn't always work.

Additionally the average pewster expects to sing what they see before them. Changing the text only makes even more work for the music dept and confusion for (parts of) the congregation.

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