Propers Past and Future for Ordinary 4B

This past weekend, an extract from a long psalm served as the entrance antiphon. The 106th is an interesting choice (as the conclusion of a community lament) to yoke to the 122nd, a psalm for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Entrance Antiphon Ps 105: 47
Save us, O Lord our God!
And gather us from the nations,
to give thanks to your holy name,
and make it our glory to praise you.
(Psalm 121[122]: GS, p. 242)

Another lament is given as the first choice for Communion (Psalm 31 appears after the first reading on Good Friday):

Communion Antiphon Cf. Ps 30: 17-18
Let your face shine on your servant.
Save me in your merciful love.
O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.
(Psalm 30[31]: 2-6, 8ab, 15-16a: GR, p. 271)

Alternatively, one can choose a refrain from the Beatitudes and use it with the standby, Psalm 34, or perhaps a better link, the 37th Psalm which responds to the seeker who asks about the prosperous wicked, and in turn is told: just wait; God will turn things on their head.

Or: Mt 5: 3-4
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
(Psalm 33[34] or Psalm 36[37]: 1, 3, 16, 18, 23, 27: cf. GR, p. 514)

These passages all work pretty well for a cycle A Sunday in which the Beatitudes are proclaimed. But in cycle B, we read of Moses’s warning about false prophets and Jesus’s first cure of a possessed person early in his public ministry.

As a generic prayer for gathering, I suppose the 122nd Psalm is suitable enough for entrance. But for Communion, If I were going outside the Psalter, I might suggest an extended passage from Baruch. A shorter version of this is read at the Easter Vigil (if you are doing more than the minimum four to five readings).

Baruch 3:24-25
How vast is the house of God,
how broad the scope of divine dominion:
vast and endless, high and immeasurable.
(Baruch 3:9-4:4)

Or if I were considering the New Testament, a call to be built into a spiritual house. Which complements Psalm 122 somewhat:

(Psalm 118:22/1 Pet 2:7b)
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
(1 Peter 2:1-10)



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Propers Past and Future for Ordinary 4B

  1. Liam says:

    Good thoughts. One thing you notice if you study the Missal propers, at least, is that Communion antiphons don’t just focus on meal and banquet themes: often, the view is enlarged to consider the sacrament in terms of finding a home in God or in God’s house. Bits of Psalm 84 appear here and there, and it’s a wonderful Communion psalm when taken in this light.

    The music director at my parish, Richard Clark, composed a sweeping, lyrical vernacular chant setting of Psalm 84 (83):4-5:

    The sparrow even finds a home [and] the swallow finds a nest to place her young, near to your altars, [O] Lord of Hosts, my King [and] my God! How happy [are] they who dwell in your house! Forever [praising your Name].

    It’s a tweak text of the assigned Missal communion antiphon for OT15B, but it’s sung sometimes at Communion on other occasions. I won’t hear it this July because I expect I will be at a family reunion near Ithaca on that weekend.

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