Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Make It Simple, Make It Clear

I'm not of the opinion that the Responsorial Psalm is the ideal way to sing the Psalm between the readings. I'm grateful that the GIRM grants permission to use the traditional Gradual with its long melismatic phrases that inspire peace and contemplation.

However, the Responsorial Psalm is very deeply embedded into the practice of ordinary form liturgy today, and it is a reality for most parishes. Given that situation, I like what Arlene Oost-Zinner has done with the text. She provides a simple antiphon in plainsong followed by verses set to Gregorian tones, all of it sung by voices alone without accompaniment. To me, this is just about the best way to make something contemplative and beautiful out of something excessively minimalist. Here is her Psalm for this Sunday, for example.



Her Psalms for the entire three-year cycle can be found at Chabanel Psalms.