Responding to the Psalms

Taking the Responsorial Psalm from the Sunday Liturgy of the Word, we’re inviting you to reflect on each verse for a few days and hope to stimulate this process by providing short, simple questions to encourage deeper thought before moving on to the next verse.

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A new resource from the Spirituality Committee

The Spirituality Committee of the Bishops’ Conference has been reflecting on how best to support and sustain a person’s prayer life at this challenging time – particularly those who may not have easy access to the internet or streaming services. The Committee has looked to the psalms as the inspiration for its new resource.

The Responsorial Psalm is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word. Taking the psalm from the Sunday Liturgy, we’re inviting you to reflect on each verse for a few days and hope to stimulate this process by providing short, simple questions to encourage deeper thought before moving on to the next verse. The aim is that this will sustain people throughout the week.

Example

Taking the first verse of the Responsorial Psalm for Sunday 4 October 2020 (Cycle A), here’s an example of what we mean:

Sunday 27A – 4 October 2020 – Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 79(80): 9, 12-16, 19-20

The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
to plant it you drove out the nations.
It stretched out its branches to the sea,
to the Great River it stretched out its shoots.

To encourage deeper personal reflection…

God saved the people from slavery in Israel.
What are the slaveries we endure, impose on others, see in the world?
Are we grateful for the freedom in our lives?

We continue this spiritual exercise for the remaining verses of the psalm, reading the text of each verse, then spending a few days reflecting on the questions provided.

By the time you have finished contemplating the final verse of the Responsorial Psalm, it should be just about time to move on to the following Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word.

Who’s it for?

This simple initiative, ‘Responding to the Psalms’, works well for individuals and small groups. But, if it feels a little too personal, you can, of course, reflect on your own at home.

Share

The resource is intended to be freely distributed either digitally or, for those who struggle with internet access, on paper. It could be included in the weekly parish newsletter.

The Liturgy Office, on behalf of the Spirituality Committee is making the ‘Responding to the Psalms’ resource available in two formats: as a Word document and as a PDF.

Psalms for the coming month will be posted two weeks before the beginning of the month.

Downloads

Here are the two formats for October 2020. Please download or print for someone who cannot access online.