GILH 41-43: Introduction, Hymn, and Psalms

With the next series of posts, we get into the nitty gritty of Lauds and Vespers.

41. Morning prayer and evening prayer begin with the introductory verse, God come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. There follows the Glory to the Father, with As it was in the beginning and Alleluia (omitted in Lent). This introduction is omitted at morning prayer when the invitatory immediately precedes it.

After the introduction, a hymn is sung. With all the St Blog’s discussion about hymns versus songs versus antiphons, note that in Lauds and Vespers a hymn is called for in the rite. Musicians are given choices: to prepare a hymn appropriate to either morning or evening, or to appeal to the nature of the feast celebrated. Music here is meant to be the liminal experience for the congregation to enter into the prayer.

42. Then an appropriate hymn is sung immediately. The purpose of the hymn is to set the tone for the hour or the feast and, especially in celebrations with a congregation, to form a simple and pleasant introduction to prayer.

The Psalms are ever-present in the Hours. The pattern for Lauds and Vespers psalmody is laid out:

43. After the hymn the psalmody follows, in accordance with the rules laid down in nos. 121-125. The psalmody of morning prayer consists of one morning psalm, then a canticle from the Old Testament and, finally, a second psalm of praise, following the tradition of the Church.

As a side note, I’ve always found the choice of Psalm 63 as a morning psalm curious. There is a reference to longing for God “on my bed,” but I suppose it seems more demure to harbor such a thought in the morning when, hopefully, the time in bed has passed.

The psalmody of evening prayer consists of two psalms (or two parts of a longer psalm) suited to the hour and to celebration with a congregation and a canticle from the letters of the apostles or from the Book of Revelation.

Any thoughts, especially from folks who have background with hymnody or the psalms?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to GILH 41-43: Introduction, Hymn, and Psalms

  1. Liam says:

    My hopelessly grand idea for the hymns, psalms & hymns of the LOH is that the English-speaking conferences would sponsor a LOH psalter for the laity consisting of, for psalm/canticle/hymn given in the LOH:

    1. Vernacular plainsong according to the Roman tones;
    2. Approved strophic metrical paraphrases (mit doxology) (there may be more than one, in different meters); and
    3. Latin chant version as a final option

    All licensed by freeware electronically so that parishes and others can adapt the metrical texts to tunes of their choosing, et cet.

    Grand. But not bad, I think…

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