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Responsorial Psalm

158. According to IG 309, "The readings, responsorial psalm and Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) are proclaimed only from the ambo." LM 22 says specifically that the psalm is to be sung or recited at the ambo/lectern.

159. It is surprising that this is not reflected in IG 61. This repeats GIRM 36 by saying the psalm is from the "ambo/lectern or other suitable place" - "ambone vel alio loco apto". Perhaps this is to make provision for situations where there is no ambo.

160. The psalmist should sing the psalm (IG 102). The term "cantor of the psalm" is unhelpful, because it confuses the psalmist, with the cantor who leads the hymns. According to CB 51, LM 33, GIRM 272 "the cantor should not use the ambo/lectern". But this refers to leading hymns, not the responsorial psalm. IG 309 attempts to make this clearer: "The dignity of the ambo requires that only a minister of the word should approach it".

161. According to IG 61 "It is appropriate that the Responsorial Psalm be sung, at least as far as the people's response is concerned." The psalm may be sung "straight through" without a response, but as a rule the people sing the response. The psalm may be sung "straight through" either by the psalmist alone or by everyone (LM 20).

162. If the psalm cannot be sung, it should be recited "in a way more suited to fostering meditation". But the option of omitting the response ("straight through") only seems to be for singing the psalm, in LM 20 and IG 61.

163. In the absence of a psalmist, an instituted reader sings or reads the psalm between the readings. (IG 99).

164. According to GIRM 38b, the psalm could be omitted during Lent, but this is changed in IG 63b so that it is always required. According to IG 57, it is not permitted to substitute the word of God (in the readings and Responsorial Psalm) by non-biblical texts.



Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 18 March 2002. Last updated 15 April 2002.