The Importance of Music and Singing in the Liturgy- Part Three
(The following is taken from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Liturgical Calendar, pp13-14. Italics mine)
The liturgy is enriched and made more solemn by music and sacred song. Intimately connected with the spirit of the liturgical actions it accompanies, music is a strong aid to prayer and helps deepen the sense of community within the assembly. Singing by the people is essential; they take a more active part in liturgical services by singing the acclamations, psalms, antiphons and responses.
Music at every celebration is the standard. The liturgy committee works with pastors, choirs, musicians, readers and others to choose suitable music for each specific celebration. Music which supports the spirit of each celebration – the liturgical season, occasion, or feast, the liturgical moment, and the readings – will help to complete the work of the liturgy in forming the people of God.
At all times during the year, the congregation should learn and sing parts of the Mass, especially the acclamations, psalm refrain, alleluia, responses and the Lord’s Prayer, for God has called us to be the beloved and chosen people, set aside to sing God’s praise.
Pastors…should realize that valid and licit celebration is only the beginning; it is their duty as well to make sure that the faithful take a full, active, conscious and fruitful part in the liturgy.
Responsorial psalm: The psalm is sung as a meditative response to the word of God in the first reading and reflects its message. Unless the psalm is to be sung straight through, the cantor sings the refrain and all repeat it; the cantor sings the verses and the congregation repeats the refrain.”