Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ugh. those DARN US bishops!

so. responsorial Psalm for 26 Sunday in Ordinary Time, year C. (September 30, 2007.) Psalm 146.
" Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free."

ok. so that's the translation that they want to use. fine.
except that...
about a year ago, when the exact same Psalm was used, the first verse began "The God of Jacob keeps faith forever..." and then continued exactly the same as the aforementioned.

so, now when we have to sing this in a couple weeks, do I try and awkwardly squeeze those words in to fit the music in this same place? (I happened to use a setting of this I wrote a year ago, because I couldn't find any other usable ones.)

my point is, I'm all about following the Lectionary and doing what the bishops tell us to (when it's reasonable?) but really, MAKE UP YOUR MINDS! Which translation are you using?!

The example I gave is rather extreme, and is so different within the first line, it makes me wonder if they really were actually using a different verse. But, a more ridiculous example is the Psalm "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord..." (I can't remember the exact citation,) in some instances of it in the Lectionary, we have to say "The one who does justice..." and that's the refrain! let's see if that confuses the congregation just a little bit...

ok, so until the US bishops get their act together and decide which translation they are going to use, must I really bend over backwards to concede to their whim of whether or not to be gender-inclusive on that particular week?!


Anonymous said...

In my opinion, 50% of the lectionary is a big stinking mistake that needs to be trashed. That and the 3 year cycle. But seriously, the bishops did SUCH a bad job putting together the lectionary. That psalm, the repeated Gospel verses (how many times do we sing "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening..."?), the mismatching with the propers. How hard would it have been to add an OT reading and a Psalm to the old lectionary? But noooo the bishops had to rethink the entire lectionary and give us this mess we have now. AHHHHHH!!!!!! And I REALLY hate the whole "RCIA means year A" stuff too!

Back on topic, I did some quick research into that psalm. The USCCB translation they give you is WRONG. Look at a translation for verses 4-7. In verse 4, you have "Blessed is he... whose hope is in the LORD his God" Then in verses 5-7, you have a list of the attributes and deeds of God. Verse 7 is a list of those deeds. By translating verse 7 as "Blessed is he...", the USCCB leaves the text open to the idea that there is a PERSON who does all these things, while it is really talking about God! The actual text says "Who executes justice...", but of course it makes no sense to begin the psalm with a pronoun! Hence, "The God of Jacob" is correct, as would be "The LORD". I would recommend you use the Grail translation for that psalm, and now that you've mentioned it I'll do the same!

Which brings me to another beef: why can't we have the entire psalm?! Well we COULD if we wanted to write it out and such, but still why should we only use 4 verses? Grrr another thing to hate about the bishops...


Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Up here in Canada the verses from the Lectionary (CCCB) used are:
Ps. 146: 6c-7, 8-9a, 9b-10 (R.1)
(R.) Praise the Lord, my soul!

vss: 6c-7
It is the Lord who keeps faith forever/ who executes justice for the oppressed;/who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free/

The next two verses also make note that we are talking about the Lord doing things for us the people.

So two neighbouring countries aren't even in sync'; then to look at the Graduale they change not only verses but a totally different psalm.

The Graduale lists Ps. 145(144V): 15 V. 16
which translated (NSRV)is:
15 The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season.
(V)16 You open Your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

Same concept but different psalm.

How are we supposed to be part of One holy, apostolic (truly) Catholic church, if we aren't even listening to the same Liturgy on the same Sundays. Oh Help!

Cantor said...


The Lectionary is derived from the Order of Readings (Ordo lectionum Missæ), which is from the Vatican and gives Scripture citations for readings and resp. psalms as well as original Latin texts for resp. psalm refrains and Gospel verses.

A problem I have noticed is that the U.S. Lectionary frequently mismatches the Order of Readings. Sometimes, as with (IIRC) the Ps. 42 responsorial psalm for Masses of Anointing of the Sick (that or Easter Vigil VII Ps. 42), it’s just a wrong verse or something. You may recall that, for 18OT-c, the resp. psalm refrain in the U.S. Lectionary is from Ps. 95 while the verses are from Ps. 90 - this is another mistake in the U.S. Lectionary, since the Order of Readings has a refrain from Ps. 90 for that Sunday.

It could be that Mara has found another error. I’ll check later today - I am curious myself.

I asked someone at OCP once about the U.S. Lectionary, if it was hastily slapped together, and the reply was that, alas, no, it is the product of many years of back-and-forth negotiations, compromises, and such.

Incidentally, Fr. Felix Just has a wonderful comparison between the pre-1998 and 1998 U.S. Lectionaries as well as a comparison of the first and second edition of the Order of Readings. (The current U.S. Lectionary was put forth in 1998 to conform to the 1981 Order of Readings.)

Cantor said...

Ok. The Order of Readings (OLM) gives exactly the same response text and verse citations for the resp. psalms of 32ot-b and 26ot-c.

You would think that this would mean the same text goes for both Sundays.

I suspect someone who had a hand in the drafting of the current U.S. Lectionary goofed, which produces the two different translations that we currently have.

For reference, the Nova Vulgata Editio has:
facit iudicium oppressis,
dat escam esurientibus.
Dominus solvit compeditos,

...or (I think): “makes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; the Lord releases captives.”

What is interesting is the line that precedes this in the U.S. Lectionary. Vss. 5-6 of the NV translate:

“Blessed is the one to whom the God of Jacob is the help,
whose hope is in the Lord, his/her God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in it,
who keeps faith forever.”

So, both occurrences at hand are adaptations of scripture that is outside the specified verses in the Order of Readings. Interesting.

Mara Joy said...

omg. either it's a big conspiracy, or else they just don't care. either way, I don't have time to check every psalm for errors like this! and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to decide which one to use. sigh. maybe I just shouldn't agonize over it so much. there are far worse liturgical abuses committed in most places...

Cantor said...

The U.S. Lectionary is what it is, and even with its errors, AFAIK, we have to use it (or another approved translation).

I suggest not agonizing over it. :) I think the relationships of the faithful with the Almighty are not affected substantially by whether the U.S. Lectionary varies here and there from the Order of Readings. That said, one is led to wonder about the motivations of whoever put the Lectionary together. Eh well.

Anonymous said...

"I would recommend you use the Grail translation for that psalm, and now that you've mentioned it I'll do the same!"

What's the deal with using the Grail translation in the US?

My practice has been to use either the words from the lectionary or the Grail, and I was told that using the Guimont psalms, for instance, for Mass was wrong.

Cantor said...


The 1963 Grail has approval for being used for the responsorial psalm at Mass. (At least, GIA says so, and if it weren’t true they’d get in trouble and have to stop saying it.)

Using the Guimont psalms as found in Gather and RitualSong hymnals is not kosher because these use the 1993 Grail texts, which failed the approval process with the USCCB.

The Guimont “Lectionary Psalms” collection has settings that use the actual Lectionary text, which are licit by definition.