GILH 124-125: Considerations of Length, Genre

What if the psalm is long?

124. When longer psalms occur, sections are marked in the psalter that divide the parts in such a way as to keep the threefold structure of the hour; but great care has been taken not to distort the meaning of the psalm.

It is useful to observe this division, especially in a choral celebration in Latin; the Glory to the Father is added at the end of each section.

It is permissible, however, either to keep this traditional way or to pause between the different sections of the same psalm or to recite the whole psalm and its antiphon as a single unit without a break.

When may the antiphon be repeated after each strophe?

125. In addition, when the literary genre of a psalm suggests it, the divisions into strophes are marked in order that, especially when the psalm is sung in the vernacular, the antiphons may be repeated after each strophe; in this case the Glory to the Father need be said only at the end of the psalm.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to GILH 124-125: Considerations of Length, Genre

  1. Rob F. says:

    The division of psalms is an old and useful practice. For the most part it works well. But I never liked the splitting up of psalms 71(18) and 88(89) across two days in the Office of Reading. These psalms are not long, they could be prayed in one day.
    The division of Psalm 118(119) across days is not quite so egregious, since its theme is constant across its divisions: every day you get a brief reminder of finding Christ in the Law. But obviously, you lose some of the impact that having a very long, slow, thoughtful meditation on themes can have.

  2. Rob F. says:

    Oops, I meant psalm 17(18), not 71(18).

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