Wedding Psalm 118?

Every church musician should know the seven wedding psalms: 33, 34,103, 112, 128, 145, and 148. I have a wedding coming up in a few weeks. The cantor pitched Psalm 118, which she had at her recent wedding. Here’s the NAB text for the Easter psalm with verses 1-2, 16-17, 22-23:

Give thanks to the Lord, who is good, whose love endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say: God’s love endures forever.

The Lord’s right hand is raised; the Lord’s right hand strikes with power.
I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.

Psalm 118 appears sparingly in the Lectionary. It’s assigned to the Easter Vigil after Romans 6. You see it on the first two Sundays of Easter, and also Fourth Sunday cycle B (if you remember from earlier this year). Friday and Saturday of the Easter octave get the 118th, too. Does the Church ration out Psalm 118 for Easter only? With the Rite for the Dedication of an Altar, these verses are an option: 15-16, 19-20, 22-23, 27. That’s all I can remember tonight.

My friend has a good point, I think. I wouldn’t use the Easter verses were I to suggest Psalm 118 to the Lectionary committee. I think 1+4, 24-25, 26-27, 28-29 would be a good set:

Give thanks to the Lord, who is good, whose love endures forever.
Let those who fear the Lord say, God’s love endures forever.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.
Lord, grant salvation! Lord, grant good fortune!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the Lord’s house.
The Lord is God and has given us light. Join in procession with leafy branches up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, I give you thanks; my God, I offer you praise.
Give thanks to the Lord, who is good, whose love endures forever.

I love those “leafy branches” of verse 27, don’t you? Doesn’t every bride?

Ever use Psalm 118 for a wedding, and if so, what’s your setting of choice?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Liturgical Music, Rite of Marriage, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Wedding Psalm 118?

  1. Bruce Reich says:

    I agree, nicely thought trough!

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