Conducted by Fr. JOHN SYMON
Question—The so called Responsorial Psalm at Mass is a dull element in the liturgy and I wish it could be abolished. Or is there some reason for it which I am missing?
Curious, Wakefield, Yorkshire Answer — There are three
reasons why the Responsorial Psalm has been inserted after the First Reading at Mass. It is in
tended to help us mull over the main thought of the Lesson which goes before it.
Secondly, after we have listened to God speaking to us in the Lesson, it is natural for us to speak to Him and in the Psalm we do just this. Finally, the Psalm often helps to link the theme of the First Reading with that of the Third Reading which is of course the Gospel.
However, I would suggest that there is a further point about the Responsorial Psalm — a feature which should be welcomed by those Catholics who feel that the modern Church often seems to be an organisation more devoted to talk and controversy than to prayer and recollection. Remember the short prayers, ejaculations as they are called, which we used to be encouraged to say during our daily work. "Jesus, mercy! Mary, help!" "Sweet Jesus, be to me not a judge but a saviour" and so on.
The response in the Psalm at Sunday Mass can easily be made our ejaculation for the week, a brief prayer which we can use without even interrupting our work. This Sunday's example is especially suitable : "Come, Lord, and save us." Why not use this phrase as a means of turning our minds to God as we go about our daily tasks?