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Music overview

Ordinary Time (I), Year A

10 December 2023


  • As One Voice 12, and The Next Generation—AOV1, AOV2, AOVNG
  • Catholic Worship Book and Catholic Worship Book II—CWB, CWBII
  • Gather (3rd edition)—G
  • Gather Australia—GA
  • Psalms for Feasts and Seasons—PFS
  • Digital download—DD
  • Selected collection—SC

Mass settings

It is useful to change the Mass setting from whatever is used in the season of Christmas to highlight the change in the liturgical year, while also matching the level of solemnity. A Mass setting that people can sing well and that is sung over time is preferable to changing Mass settings each week. The Mass setting chosen should also be engaging, both melodically and rhythmically, as this invites and sustains interest. The encouraged and supported participation of the people each week builds the confidence and capacity of the singing assembly. See also the ‘Mass Settings’ section in CWBII.

Some suggested settings are:

  • Mass of Glory and Praise (Mason)—CWBII 25
  • Missa Magis (Willcock)—CWBII 26a, b, c, e, g, h
  • Mass of Freedom (Russell)—AOV1 197 (revised 3rd edn only)
  • Gloria only: Mass Shalom (Smith, rev. Mason)—AOV1 195 (revised 3rd edn only), CWBII 27c, DD (Liturgical Song)
  • Gloria only: Belmont Mass (Walker)—CWBII 39
  • For youth: Mass of a Joyful Heart (Angrisano)—DD (OCP)


Suggested psalm collections

  • Catholic Worship Book
  • Gather Australia
  • Gather (3rd edn)
  • Marist Music free digital download—DD (Marist Music)
  • Praise the Lord My Soul (Connolly)—DD (Willow Publishing, Australia)
  • Psallite: Sacred Song for Liturgy and Life—DD (Liturgical Press, Collegeville)
  • Psalms for All Time (Paul Mason)—SC (Liturgical Song, Australia)
  • Psalms for Feasts and Seasons (Willcock)—SC (Collins Dove)
  • Psalms for the Church’s Year (Heagney)—SC (Liturgical Song, Australia)
  • Psalms for the Sundays of Year A (O’Brien)—SC (self-published in Brighton, SA)
  • Responsorial Psalms: Year A (Smith)—SC (Willow Publishing, Australia)
  • Sing the Responsorial Psalms (McKenna)—SC (Willow Publishing, Australia)
  • The Lyric Psalter: Year A (Alonso/Haugen)—SC (GIA Publishing, Chicago)

Notes on seasonal psalms, common responsorial psalms and common responses

Seasonal psalms, common responsorial psalms and common responses are a resource for communities who wish to sing the responsorial psalm but find they cannot learn new music each week. These settings can be sung over some weeks: seasonal and common responsorial psalms are sung as they are written, and common responses allow for the use of a common antiphon and the psalm verses set for each week. By using the psalms suggested over time, a community can gradually build its repertoire and ensure that the sung responsorial psalm stays a regular part of the Liturgy of the Word.

Suggested Gospel acclamations 

  • Alleluia from Mass of a Joyful Heart (Angrisano)—DD (OCP)
  • Alleluia from Mass Shalom—CWBII 27d, DD (AOV or Liturgical Song)
  • Alleluiatic Psalm Tone—CWBII 47
  • Celtic Alleluia—AOV1 13, CWBII 48, GA 141
  • Hallel Alleluia—CWBII 49
  • Mawby Alleluia—CWBII 51
  • Murray Alleluia—CWBII 52

Use the verse appropriate to the day. It is useful to use one Gospel acclamation consistently to support confident participation by the assembly.

Suggested entrance and Communion antiphon collection

  • Saint Meinrad Entrance and Communion Antiphons (Kelly)—DD (OCP)

Solo singing or instrumentals

The procession of the gifts or offertory is an appropriate time for a suitable piece from a solo singer, an instrumentalist or the choir. This piece may replace a communal hymn or song at this time.

After Communion

The GIRM (§88) instructs that when the distribution of Communion is finished, there is a time of silence and prayer. This period of silence may then be followed by a thanksgiving hymn, psalm or canticle that is to be sung by all.

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