The “responsorial psalm” needs a new name.
I’ve gotten a bit tired of this unwieldy term, “responsorial psalm”. Besides that it is 6 syllables long, with 3 of them stressed, it fails even to describe a unique moment of the Mass. Consider:
Responsorial psalmody is at the heart of the Graduale simplex, which gives chants for use at any of the processionals of Mass as well as the chants between the readings. Responsorial psalmody is how Gregorian Communion propers work as well. Further, the Easter Vigil Alleluia is a responsorial psalm, and even songs like “On Eagle’s Wings” could really be called responsorial psalms.
I’ve got parishioners who just call it the “responsorial”, reinforcing an ignorance of the fact that “responsorial” is just a musical form, and one that can describe several songs used at Mass, even the Prayer of the Faithful (if they’re sung). Some people get confused when the Communion song is a “responsorial” antiphon and psalm.
So, what to call this thing, the text from the Lectionary meant to be sung immediately after the first reading? We can’t use the term “Gradual” since that refers to a genre of Gregorian melody, and the post-1st-reading chant doesn’t even necessarily have music. “Chant after the 1st reading” is much too unwieldy.
How about “lesson psalm”? This establishes both its place during the lessons (i.e. readings) and tells what it is (a psalm, though almost all - maybe all - of them are excerpts rather than entire psalms).
With a revision of the Lectionary coming up (this being, I understand, a bona-fide revision of the choice of readings, not just a new translation as in 1998), now might be the ideal time to bring this to the attention of relevant authorities.