Psallite Frequently Asked Questions Click on the following questions to read the responses:
  • How do the Psalm texts and antiphons used in Psallite meet the requirements of the GIRM with regard to use for the Responsorial Psalm in the context of the Eucharistic Liturgy?
    The Collegeville Composers Group carefully followed the requirements in GIRM 61 on "The Responsorial Psalm":

    In the dioceses of the United States of America, the following may also be sung in place of the psalm assigned in the Lectionary for Mass: either the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, set either in the manner of the Roman or Simple Gradual or, in another musical setting; or, an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of the psalms and antiphons, including psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the Responsorial Psalm.

    Psallite always uses the responsorial "psalm text assigned in the Lectionary for Mass" but with "an antiphon [almost always a more responsive version of the antiphon assigned in the Lectionary for Mass] . . . approved by the diocesan Bishop." Bishop John Kinney of the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota granted Psallite the imprimatur on May 10, 2005; like Cardinal George of Chicago and Archbishop Vlazny of Portland, Bishop Kinney has responsibility for a major publisher in his diocese.

    Let me explain the bracketed remark. We in the Collegeville Composers Group feel strongly that the litanic styles in the Simple Gradual needed to be explored. So we have written in a litanic style that, as in the Simple Gradual, calls out for the antiphon or a half-antiphon after each verse of psalmody. The Simple Gradual was meant to be a primer for musicians in the authentic call-and-response styles that are in the most ancient repertories.


  • How does Psallite connect to the liturgical cycle and the lectionary?
    For each Sunday, Solemnity, and major feast day of the liturgical year, Psallite provides biblically based options for the entrance / opening song (the SONG FOR THE WEEK / DAY); the response song during the Liturgy of the Word (the SONG FOR THE WORD); and the song during the Communion procession (the SONG FOR THE TABLE). The Accompaniment Editions for Years A, B, and C are organized with the three songs for each Sunday, Solemnity or Feast appearing as a grouping. In the Cantor / Choir Edition, which includes all music for all three years (A, B, and C), the songs appear alphabetically. A variety of indices help the user find songs by first line, topic, liturgical use, or scriptural verse reference.


  • Is Psallite just for the Responsorial Psalm?
    No! Psallite may be used at a variety times within the liturgy. It offers a collection of liturgical songs inspired by the antiphons and psalms of the Roman Missal which may be sung as the entrance / opening song, the song during the Communion procession, as well as for the response song during the Liturgy of the Word. While the music in this collection suggests specific Sundays or celebrations for its use, they have various, repeatable uses throughout the liturgical year. Singing the antiphons and psalms of Psallite restores psalm-singing as our primary prayer language. Singing this kind of music helps our assemblies find their voices so that we all can sing the Mass, not just sing at Mass.


  • How does Psallite connect to the liturgical cycle and the lectionary?
    For each Sunday, Solemnity, and major feast day of the liturgical year, Psallite provides biblically based options for the entrance / opening song (the SONG FOR THE WEEK / DAY); the response song during the Liturgy of the Word (the SONG FOR THE WORD); and the song during the Communion procession (the SONG FOR THE TABLE). The Accompaniment Editions for Years A, B, and C are organized with the three songs for each Sunday, Solemnity or Feast appearing as a grouping. In the Cantor / Choir Edition, which includes all music for all three years (A, B, and C), the songs appear alphabetically. A variety of indices help the user find songs by first line, topic, liturgical use, or scriptural verse reference.


  • Who are the members of the Collegeville Composers Group?
    The members of the Collegeville Composers Group are:

    Carol Browning has been active as a pastoral musician and liturgist for more than twenty years, for the past fifteen years mainly in Roman Catholic settings, although she is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). She is a liturgical composer, on her own and as part of the Collegeville Composers Group, and an independently published inspirational songwriter. She also writes occasional articles for various liturgical music magazines.

    Catherine Christmas, an accomplished organist and former cathedral director of music, currently working as Pastoral Coordinator for a group of parishes based in Winchester, England, and studying for a Master's in Pastoral Liturgy at Heythrop College, University of London.

    Cyprian Consiglio, OSB Cam, a monk of the Camaldolese Congregation, who is a musician, composer, author, and teacher. He spends about half his time at home, writing and composing, and the other half of his time on the road, performing and teaching.

    Paul F. Ford, PhD, professor of systematic theology and liturgy, St. John?s Seminary, Camarillo, California. He is the author of By Flowing Waters: Chant for the Liturgy, published by Liturgical Press.

    Paul Inwood, who serves as Director of Liturgy and Director of Music for the Diocese of Portsmouth, England. He is an internationally known liturgist, composer, organist, choir director, and clinician. His liturgical music appears in numerous hymnals worldwide.


  • What is the collaborative composition process of the Collegeville Composers Group?
    The composers come together for five days at a time, either in Santa Cruz, CA, or Hampshire, England. They begin each day by celebrating Mass followed by breakfast (they dine, exercise, and recreate together). Each composing session begins with prayer, often praying the songs composed the previous day. They then pray through one Sunday?s lectionary texts and review the Roman Missal and Roman Gradual as their reference books.

    The first element composed for a specific day is the Song for the Table. The theology of this choice is VERY specific: they ask themselves ?what are the few words (ideally from the gospel of the day) that will help the assembly receive as Food and Drink what the Father breathed to us in the Word??

    Once a consensus is reached on the text, they write the text on music paper and begin to silently mull over possible melodies. As soon as someone is inspired and music emerges from the words, they massage the melody and begin to color the antiphon with harmony.

    So they ALL write the text, they ALL write the tune, and they ALL arrange the piece. That?s why there is no individual ownership of any text, tune, or arrangement. They say it is the hardest work they?ve ever done, and the most exhilarating.


  • How do the three smaller collections of songs relate to the full Psallite collection?
    The full Psallite collection includes nearly 300 liturgical antiphons and psalms. Three smaller collections feature songs for each liturgical year drawn from the full collection: Where Two or Three are Gathered (25 songs from Year A), Walk in My Ways (27 songs from Year B), We Will Follow You, Lord (28 songs from Year C).


  • How do I obtain permission to use the Psallite antiphon graphics in the worship aid for my parish?
    Permission to use the antiphon graphics from Psallite may be obtained via an annual license from Liturgical Press ($35.00 / year). Additionally, Liturgical Press is pleased to be a publisher member of the licensing service OneLicense.net. If you subscribe to the Onelicense.net annual reprint license, you are permitted to reprint the assembly antiphons from Psallite and the assembly antiphons from By Flowing Waters, as well as the assembly part for all other music titles copyrighted by the Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, MN 56321 and/or administered by Liturgical Press (as well as a variety of other publishers). A condition of this permission is that you are mandated to report the usage of each title through Onelicense.net every time it is used.