Catholics primarily engage the Bible not as individuals but through communal hearing of Scriptures within the assembly on a schedule determined by the liturgical calendar. The Catholic Lectionary organizes three or more biblical passages (including psalms) for each day of the liturgical year and for each sacrament and other rituals.
Juxtaposing these passages with the liturgical calendar reveals a facet of Christ’s paschal mystery, which is always our foundational orientation. We do not pick random passages but are handed assigned texts. This reminds us that God’s Word orders and interprets our lives because it is not a static historical text but Christ alive in our midst.Songs for Mass should attend to not only the liturgical season but also the lens that the assigned readings give us into the paschal mystery that day. Click To Tweet
Songs for Mass should attend to not only the liturgical season but also the lens that the assigned readings give us into the paschal mystery that day. Use an ordo (see last week’s commentary) to prepare the correct Mass for the day, then find that Mass in the Lectionary. Read the Gospel first, then the first reading, followed by the responsorial psalm. These will summarize the focus of that Mass.
Other texts you’ll need from the Lectionary are the seasonal common psalm options, the verses and seasonal refrains for the Gospel acclamation, and other required sung texts called “sequences” for Easter and Pentecost. Find the Lectionary in your parish sacristy, or get a study edition of your own.