Sources of Responsorial Psalm Music

The Lectors who are Psalmists at the same time in our Sunday masses are the lectors proclaiming the First Reading. This is so because the first reader continues to proclaim the Responsorial Psalm as well. That's the setup in our parish.

The parish church purchases missalettes called Sambuhay for Sunday mass. Sambuhay is a combination of two words: "Samba" (worship) and "Buhay" (life). The copies are used by the lectors, commentator, the officiating priest and the choir.

In the missalette is a simple music notation for the Responsorial Psalm (response). The choirs of the parish presently rely on this mini-music sheet when the response of the Responsorial Psalm is sang.

Respond and Acclaim Psalm Music Sheet and MP3's

When I attended the Psalmist Basic Formation Seminar and Workshop, I learned a "best practice" from a group from another parish. They were seated at another table. One of them, an elderly guy, seemed to be moving from one table to another and showing a booklet and a kit of some sort.

The other psalmists from other parishes would mill around this guy and inquire on the wares he was holding. For a moment, I thought he was selling something. He was entertaining questions and saying prices. The growing small crowd piqued my interest and I approached them.

The guy was showing the crowd a booklet and several CD's that form part of a package called "Respond and Acclaim". It has all the Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations for the current year. The booklet contains all the music sheets for all the psalms and the CD's contains the mp3 music (instrument and vocals) for the psalms.

The psalmist ministry at his parish apparently uses these booklet and CD's for the psalmists to learn the Responsorial Psalm music. They then sing the response and verse at their parish on Sundays.

Judging by their enthusiasm in recommending the pack to the rest of the psalmists, I'd say the psalmists from that parish had good success with the Respond and Acclaim Psalm Music in their church.

Problem with the Respond and Acclaim Music Sheet and MP3's

The guy was handing out his contact number and inviting psalmists to order so bulk orders can be made instead of individual. This would be cheaper for all in the long run.

Since I didn't have any idea what this psalm music was back then, I asked the guy if there were Tagalog versions. And he flatly said no. I then realized Respond and Acclaim is from a US company.

This, of course, would not adequately address the Responsorial Psalm needs in our own parish. We have eight masses every Sunday and only two of those are in English.

The remaining six masses are all in Tagalog. The only other English mass is the Saturday anticipated mass. With only three English masses, I doubt if it will be worth purchasing the Respond and Acclaim package for the parish.

Current Practice at the Parish for Responsorial Psalm Music

Presently, the parish is using the Sambuhay Sunday missalette exclusively for the Responsorial Psalms. The Sambuhay Sunday missalette comes in two versions: English and Tagalog. Both are used extensively at the parish.

As far as the Psalm tones on the Sambuhay missalettes are concerned, some of the parish's choirs have misgivings playing them. Some even claim a few music notations are poorly written. The current setup may not be the best but it is what works as of the moment.