OCF 347: Antiphons and Psalms

Did you know that the Order of Christian Funerals contains a Psalter? OCF 347 gives a simple introduction to the twenty-seven pages that follow:

The following psalms with their antiphons may be chosen for use in various places within the rites.

Funeral liturgy of the word, processions, committals, small group prayer: all of these are possible landing places for the psalms.

When I first browsed this section in 1989, I was struck by the new antiphons attached to many of these psalms. Just a few examples:

“Remember me in your kingdom, Lord” with Psalm 23.

“Eternal rest, O Lord, and your perpetual light” with Psalm 51

“Caught up with Christ, rejoice with the saints in glory,” also with Psalm 51.

An interesting choice for one of the royal psalms, the 93rd: “From clay you shaped me; with flesh you clothed me; Redeemer, raise me on the last day.”

The entirety of Psalm 119 is given. Each set of eight verses is its own reflection on the Law. Each has an assigned antiphon.

Here’s the complete listing: Psalms 23, 25, 42, 51, 93, 114, 115A, 116, 118, 119, 121, 122, 123, 126, 130, 132, 134.

I can think of a few omissions: 27, 62, 63, 103, 131 off the top of my head. There are a lot of poorer repertoire choices than the psalms left off the OCF 347 list.

As a composer, I haven’t really attended to these psalms and antiphons. I have one decent setting that I might post later this week, and perhaps two others that need some polish. The ubiquitous “The Lord is my shepherd” does get a lot of thunder. If there are any composers reading, what sort of work have you done with the OCF Psalter?

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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 Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to OCF 347: Antiphons and Psalms

  1. Liam says:

    Also, I wish they had included Psalms 16, 30 46, 143 (all part of the Easter Vigil cursus) and 138 (I prefer the Grail translation of the latter, and fortunately, that’s still approved for sung use).

  2. FrMichael says:

    Huh, new antiphons? This is a section I have always skipped, using the Lectionary Vol. IV. Methinks I need to take a closer look.

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