Each evening, for vespers, I “sing” the Bonum Est Confiteri, Prasm 92:1-4 as it read in the rubrics, and included in the Coverdale version:
¶ Then shall be sang the following Psalm:
Bonum Est Confiteri.
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord: and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most Highest;
To tell of thy loving-kindness early in the morning: and of thy truth in the night-season;
Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the lute: upon a loud instrument, and upon the harp.
For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy works: and I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of thy hands.
Do I sing it? No. But there a different ways congregations can use this (and other psalms and canticles):
- Read in in unison.
- Read in by alternating verses or half verses; alternating between a worship leader and congregation, or between halves of the congregation.
- Read in unison, but book-ended with a sung antiphon. More often seen in newer hymnals.
- Chanted: plainsong or Anglican chant being two options.
- A metrical version sung to a psalm tune — “Old 100th” was the tune for an early metrical version of Psalm 100.
- A hymn based closely on the psalm.
The Sternhold and Hopkins metrical psalter is the likely choice for option 5, giving us, in common meter:
It is a thing both good and meet
to praise the highest Lord,
And to thy Name, O thou most High,
to sing with one accord:
To shew the kindness of the Lord,
before the day be light,
And to declare his truth abroad,
when it doth draw to night;
On a ten-string’ed instrument,
on lute and harp so sweet,
With all the mirth you can invent
of instruments most meet.
An assortment of hymns evoking Psalm 92 may be found here.
The point: a rubric and a text may be used in more than the literal way.