Q: As always, I turn to you for the definitive word on all things liturgical. I am a Music Director. I have been told by our pastor that I am now only permitted to use exact lectionary text for the psalm. My understanding is that using paraphrasing for the psalms is permissible. Has this rule changed? I consulted a composer who cited the GILM (para 21, 40, 89), as well as GIRM 61. I would love to hear your interpretation. Thank you.
A: It’s GIRM 61 that answers your question. It allows, among other options “an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the Responsorial Psalm.”
The legislation in force does not require the exact lectionary text for the psalm.
Having said that, though, it’s worth studying the psalm in the lectionary because its refrain and verses have been carefully selected to match up with the readings of the day. They give the best guide for what to do.