OCM Introduction 22-23: Psalms at Communion

Let’s wrap up our examination of the Ordo Cantus Missae with a look back at Communion psalms:

22. The numbers of psalms and of their verses are taken from the Nova Vulgata edition (Vatican Polyglot Press, 1969). The verses and parts thereof are arranged as in the book of the Liturgy of the Hours (Vatican Polyglot Press, 1971).

23. An asterisk placed after the number of a psalm indicates that the antiphon was not taken from the psalter, and that the psalm was assigned to it ad libitum. In that case, another psalm can be substituted, if it is more pleasing, for example, Psalm 33, which has been used at communion from ancient tradition.

When Psalm 33 is indicated as the psalm at Communion, there is no preference among the verses to be selected, any of which is very suitable.

Psalm “33” referred to here is the “Taste and See” psalm, the 34th as numbered in most Bibles. Psalm 34, by the way, is used often in the liturgy. It’s one of the nine common psalms for Ordinary Time, it appears in the Rite of Acceptance for adult Christian Initiation, and in a number of sacramental rites, including marriage. It’s also an “acrostic” psalm, taking the first letter of each verse as a subsequent letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The ABC approach can be a bit scattered, but the common theme throughout is a thanksgiving offered to God for deliverance from danger, and for protection and wisdom.

I appreciate the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988) which was used in this series.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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