Page 5, 28th May 1971

28th May 1971
Page 5
Page 5, 28th May 1971 — How not to

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People: Ita Brannigan


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How not to

make psalms dreary

A RE psalms dreary, as your correspondent. Ita Brannigan, thinks? It depends what she means. Surely not the psalms themselves, written, as they were, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; sung, as they were. by Our Lord, Our Lady and the Apostles and the Jewish people generally, in the Temple and the Synagogue; used as prayer over the centuries by Christians. Catholic. Orthodox and Protestant. Perhaps it is the way they are said where she attends Mass. If they are said in a speedy gabble, as, unfortunately the Latin Mass often was, and the Our Father and Hail Mary often are in the rosary — then my sympathies are with her

But then the psalms are not at fault. The dreariness comes from the people who use them, and ought to be corrected. Psalms are meant to be sung, but where and when this cannot be done, their beautiful words can be brought out by the readers and congregation speaking clearly and at a reasonable pace.

My only misgiving about the Responsorial Psalms was the enormous variety of the refrains. But I have found by experience that if the reader announces the refrain clearly before he starts the psalm and the people repeat it then, most of them "get it" almost straight away, and can respond easily as they should.

I have yet to hear anyone here call them dreary!

(Canon) A. S. E. Burrett

Airesford, Hants.


IN 1957 the Women's Group on Public Welfare produced a Report on Loneliness that has been a "best seller for the National Council of Social Service ever since. However, it is now felt that the Report is a little dated and a new working party has been set up to reconsider the incidence and causes of loneliness in all age groups and all walks of life.

The working party are also anxious to seek out some of the many very imaginative methods that have been used to bring people together and to help them to form meaningful relationships. May we trespass on the hospitality of your columns to ask your readers to let us know about any unusual ways which have been used to tackle the problems of loneliness?

Your sincerely,

Miss J. C. Barbour


Working Party on Loneliness, 26 Bedford Square, London W.ClB 3HV.

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