Responsorial Psalm and Antiphon for 18th OT C—haven’t we talked about this before?

Attempting to accomplish another task, I was just consulting the USCCB website for August 4, 2013 and was reminded that there is a problem with the biblical citation for the responsorial antiphon, If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts, from Psalm 95:7d–8a, and not verse 1 of Psalm 90, as indicated. I can’t find any discussion of this anomaly in our archives but I seem to remember our discussing it. We, the Collegeville Composers Group, decided to set an accommodated version of Psalm 90:18 instead of the appointed text in order to tie the readings together. Does anyone have a copy of the Ordo lectionum missae handy?


  1. There are two Responsorial Psalms provided for this day. The first is Ps 90(89) 3-6, 12-14, 17, with response v.1. The alternative is Ps 95(94) 1-2, 6-9 with response vv.7-8. The USCCB have taken the response for the second psalm and the verses from the first. Oops!

  2. John, I think it’s even more complicated than that!

    Back in 2003, when I was assembling the Spanish and English texts for a bilingual (English and Spanish) collection of responsorial psalms, this is what I wrote for the 18th Sun. OT C:

    The present USA Leccionario has both the wrong refrain and the wrong psalm at this number. And the recent USA Lectionary for Mass has the wrong refrain but the correct psalm. According to the 1981 Ordo Lectionum Missae the psalm is psalm 89/90, with the refrain: “Domine, refugium factus es nobis, a generatione in generationem.” (In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.) These are identical to the refrain and psalm verses at OLM no. 129 (23rd Sun. OT C). What is the origin of this problem? The 1969 OLM did have psalm 94/95 with the refrain “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts/Ojalá escuchen hoy la voz del Señor: ‘No endurezcan el corazón.'” But both the psalm and the refrain were changed in the 1981 edition. Apparently the editors of the USA Leccionario did not make the change in the mid-1980’s because the English lectionary then in use in the USA still had psalm 94/95. The recent USA Lectionary for Mass now supplies the correct psalm but, surprisingly, the incorrect refrain is still given. Spain’s latest Leccionario has both the correct refrain (“Señor, tú has sido nuestro refugio de generación en generación.”) and psalm.

  3. Is the second option an amendment to the OLM?

    My copy, which is the second typical edition lists only the following:

    Dominica Decima Octava

    114 – C

    Ps. Resp. – Ps 89, 3-4. 5-6. 12-13. 14 et 17
    R. (1): Domine, refugium factus es nobis, a generatione in generationem.

  4. Unfortunately, the erratum has been compounded by the publication of the listing on the GIA website of the Revised Grail psalms with their responses in liturgical order. Composers of new psalm settings using the Revised Grail are using this as the reference point for the response, rather than the ICEL translation of the OLM81 response. The new Gelineau and Guimont resources and the Lyric Psalter have used the “erratum.”

    The correct ICEL translation of the OLM81 response is “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge” and is used in other lectionaries around the world. This same response is used five weeks later on the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time C, when the identical OLM81 psalm and response appear again.

    1. @Paul Mason – comment #6:

      Paul, you are correct. My only response to your observation is that GIA’s four recent hymnals all conform to the dictates of the BCDW concerning texts to be used in the lectionary sections of those hymnals (as well as in auxiliary publications and the web site listings you mentioned).

      There are actually eight serious errata in the responsorial psalms for the temporal cycle in the USA Lectionary for Mass:

      No. 41-2 – Easter Vigil (2nd psalm) – incorrect refrain. Should be “Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope,” to translate: “Conserva me, Deus, quoniam speravi in te.”

      Nos. 44 and 45 – Easter 2 B and Easter 2 C: Incorrect psalm verses. Years B and C do not have the same verses as year A in the 1981 OLM.

      No. 63 – Pentecost, during the day – the second and third stanzas of the psalm are incorrectly reversed.

      No. 105 (second psalm) – 15th OT C – incorrect refrain. Should be “The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart, to translate: “Iustitiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda,” [the same refrain as that used in no. 137 (26th OT B)].

      No. 114 – 18th OT C – incorrect refrain. Should be “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge,” to translate “Domine, refugium factus es nobis, a generatione in generationem.”

      No. 158 – 33rd OT B – same erratum as that noted for no. 41-2.

      No. 164 – Trinity Sunday A – last verse of the canticle (Daniel 3:56) is missing.

      There are also some incorrect or missing verses in a few responsorial psalms used on various Sundays.

      A few years ago the BCDW asked publishers of participation aids to correct the order of the strophes for the Pentecost Sunday psalm. The other discrepancies were not addressed. It’s interesting that Tom Strickland says that WLP was allowed to make one of the corrections, while GIA was not.

      I see the need for participation aids to conform to the published liturgical books. But I cannot see why what are clearly errata cannot be corrected…

  5. I discovered this “erratum” back in 1999 while preparing “Psalms and Ritual Music” for World Library Publications. I telephoned Msgr. Moroney to ask about it. He seemed surprised and made some sort of non-committal “what do you know about that!” remark. When pressed, he did allow us to use the correct citation for the incorrect refrain.

    Ron Krisman detailed the sources of confusion in this instance. This discrepancy along with many others seem to reveal that the revision of the psalms was done one-at-a-time, rather than by looking at all the appearances of a given psalm at the same time. This resulted in many small differences–sometimes only of capitalization or punctuation–between uses of the same psalm. Annoying to editors (since these differences must be followed for publication to be allowed), and not likely to help the faithful in praying the psalm.

  6. In 1998 when the new Lectionary for Mass was implemented, this error was not discovered until the first of the publisher’s lectionaries had already come off the press. We in the publishing business were told to “go with it.” End of story.

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