Sing The Psalm, Omit The Reading

The title, I would not advocate for this. But I noticed Paul Inwood’s piece at PrayTell that circled around omitting the Easter Vigil Psalms.

To be sure, Easter Vigil is demanding on everyone. The time. The length. The complexity. The quality you need to bring to the table in order for it not to be boring, tedious, or impossible. I was in ministry for years before it became comfortable for me, and I had a lot of catching up to do. Some clergy never master it, and some don’t want to try.

So I’m dismayed that half a century after liturgical reform people are still looking to cut corners. It’s not hard to find parishes that do the Easter Vigil well and to get tutored in best practices.

That said, I’m amused about that pastor who wants all the readings and silence instead of psalms. If you twisted my arm and asked me to omit anything in the Liturgy of the Word, it would be the prayers after each psalm. And if you pressed me further, I’d ask why aren’t we omitting readings and keeping the psalms? The difference in quality of text is negligible. And I’d take Psalm 16 over Genesis 22 (despite the energy that has gone into churchsplaining child sacrifice) any day.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Sing The Psalm, Omit The Reading

  1. Liam says:


    The Grail lurking behind all of this: on Holy Saturday, at 4PM, just offer an anticipated Mass of Easter Sunday, sans music. (Which, I am sure you must be aware, has been reported over the years to happen (not the no-music part) in Certain Places regardless of it being one of the most serious liturgical abuses that doesn’t involve invalid sacraments….)

    • Liam says:

      Temporal bookend PS: Of course, were one to time travel back 80 years, one would not be shocked to find the Easter Vigil completed by mid-morning, with all of the altar boys and parochial school singers commanded into attendance plus the daily Mass-goers and maybe some more devoted parishioners but not necessarily full pews (the sanctuary and organ loft together might have had more players, as it were), and after dismissal everyone going their ways . . . to await the end of Lenten fasting at noon.

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