Across the three years of the Sunday Lectionary plus the Roman Antiphonary, we Roman Catholics have some interesting choices for the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. I don’t pretend to offer a thorough study of these several psalms–that would take a chapter, if not a whole book. But I found some linked themes or ideas as I consulted the Lectionary, the Antiphonary, and other resources.
Most worshipers are familiar with the Psalm that follows the first reading. In the A, B, and C years respectively, the psalms are the 23rd, the 93rd, and the 122nd.
At entrance, Psalm 85 is an interesting choice. The Antiphonary gives this refrain:
The Lord speaks of peace to his people and his holy ones and to those who turn to him.
That should be familiar as one of the two common psalms for Advent.
For Communion, one option is to blend Psalm 34 or 57 with an antiphon from Psalm 117:
O praise the Lord, all you nations, for his merciful love towards us is great.
The alternate refrain from Matthew 28:20 is yoked to Psalm 68. The 34th (Taste and See) is always a communion option for Ordinary Time and even seasons.
When I checked the resource By Flowing Waters, I found other psalms in use there: Psalm 72 (with an antiphon of Daniel 7:27) for the entrance, Psalm 47 (with an antiphon of Isaiah 49:6) for preparation, and the Canticle of David from 1 Chronicles 29 (with an antiphon based on Micah 5:4c-5a).
Psalm 72 is a royal Psalm used every year on Epiphany, and in cycle A, this coming liturgical year, on the second Sunday of Advent. Psalm 47 should be familiar to liturgy geeks as the appointed Psalm for Ascension. The link to the power and stature of the Lord Jesus is obvious. David’s canticle touches on the kingship in ancient Israel.
I don’t offer any profound conclusions on any of this; just a note that we do well not to think of liturgical feasts and seasons in isolation. Links across the liturgical year from the ending Sundays to Advent, Epiphany, and Easter feasts suggest a greater awareness than just historical or spiritual reenactments of salvation history.
Speaking for my parish’s plans for the coming Sunday, we are emphasizing music that tells the story of the Lord. Also our posture of trust in his power–a power that protects, guides, and opens our hearts and minds to things greater than just earthly authorities. Jesus Christ is “King of the Universe,” as the Missal describes.