Psalm 51 – Create a clean heart in me, O God.
This week’s responsorial psalm is composed of excerpts from Psalm 51. This is the most well-known of the Seven Penitential Psalms (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), and the excerpts proclaimed on this Sunday pray to God for a renewed steadfastness in keeping His precepts, ask for His forgiveness, and promises to teach transgressors and sinners about God’s commands and the joy and purpose that living by God’s word brings to our lives.
Of the Seven Penitential Psalms, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says this:
During times when we wish to express repentance and especially during Lent, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. The penitential designation of these psalms dates from the seventh century. Prayerfully reciting these psalms will help us to recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God’s forgiveness. (usccb.org)
*A note on Psalm translations.
Like all of scripture, the book of Psalms has been translated and re-translated many times over the years, so that they may continue to be accessible to our changing world, as well as be understood by those of all cultures and languages. Recently, the Church began incorporating use of a translation from 2010 entitled The Revised Grail Psalms, so named because it is a revision of The Psalms: A New Translation, published in 1963 by The Ladies of The Grail. The hymnal/missal in use at Our Lady contains The Revised Grail Psalms, but they haven’t been completely incorporated into the Liturgy as of yet, and often, different translations are used. Thus, you may sometimes hear the choir or cantor proclaim Psalms that differ slightly from what is printed in the Missal.
Proper of the Mass:
At the Vigil Mass (Saturday, 5pm) and the 8:30 Mass on Sunday this week, two parts of the Proper of the Mass will be sung. Before the pre-mass announcements, you will hear the Entrance Antiphon, and at the beginning of Communion, you will hear the Communion Antiphon. The texts to these Antiphons are printed below. Although these texts are sung by the choir or cantor alone, you are encouraged to take a moment to read these texts and pray along with the singers while you listen.
Give me justice, O God,
And plead my case against a nation that is faithless.
From the deceitful and cunning rescue me,
For you, O God, are my strength.
Everyone who lives and believes in me
Will not die forever, says the Lord