The communal aspects of forms II and III of the Rite of Penance share obvious aspects. In today’s post, I’d like to highlight the expectations for the song of the Introductory Rites.
48. When the faithful have assembled, they may sing a psalm, antiphon, or other appropriate song while the priest is entering the church, for example:
Hear us, Lord, for you are merciful and kind. In your great compassion, look on us with love.
Let us come with confidence before the throne of grace to receive God’s mercy, and we shall find pardon and strength in our time of need.
A few observations:
I notice the preference in order here is psalm, then antiphon, then appropriate song. Our school music director began using Marty Haugen’s setting of Psalm 51 for First Reconciliation services two or three years ago. I’ve thought so much of that option that I began programming it for parish reconciliation services as well. With most clergy preferring to limit the Scriptures to a single reading, that psalm makes even more sense.
As far as I know, these sample antiphons have not been set to music. Most music directors choose option three–no surprise, I suppose. I imagine that the texts of the penitential psalms (32, 38, 51, 91, 102, 130, 143) would be suitable. Psalm 103 strikes me as an underutilized contribution, and would work well with either of these given antiphons.
If any parish is using psalmody to begin form II, please speak up. Otherwise, what hymnody have you sung?