JULY 4: INDEPENDENCE DAY Lectionary #379
In 2011, Independence Day falls on Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time. July 4 is also the optional memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (Lectionary #594). For special celebrations of Independence Day, the Lectionary for Mass suggests using readings from the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, II; For Public Needs: 13. For the Country (#882–886) or 14. For Peace and Justice (#887–891), found in Volume IV of the Lectionary. Note that the current U.S. Sacramentary includes special texts (collects and prefaces) for the celebration of Independence Day.
            In choosing music for today's celebration, pastoral musicians should check to see which readings and prayers will be used. If no special texts will be chosen, then they should keep their focus on the readings of the day and make choices that allow the word to be heard and celebrated. Perhaps the liturgy could conclude with a hymn that gives thanks and seeks guidance for the nation. Appropriate choices include such famil­iar hymns as “America the Beautiful” and “God of Our Fathers,” which are found in most hymnals and service books. Less known but very appropriate is “This Is My Song,” sung to the tune Finlandia.

Suggested Psalm: Ps (121) 122
One of the “songs of ascent,” this psalm praises Jerusalem as the place where God’s name is honored and God’s Torah is put into practice. The proper antiphon from Masses “for the Country” is based on Sirach 36:15: “Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you.” But other settings of this psalm with a more familiar antiphon—and with settings that might be more familiar to a congregation gathered on July 4—might also be used.

Con Qué Alegría/Let Us Go Rejoicing (Cortés)  FYC 263
I Rejoiced Because They Said to Me (Reagan)  CH 160
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Batastini/Gelineau)  RS 165
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Dean)  GP 268/JS 728
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Jordan)  LMGM 503
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Murray/Gelineau)  WOR 67
I Rejoiced When I Heard (O’Carroll)  CH 159
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Walker)  GP 269/JS 592
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Warner)  GP 416
I Was Glad (Haas)  GC 121/RS 166
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Joncas)  GC 120/GC2 68/RS 167
Qué Alegría Cuando Me Dijeron (Grajeda)  FYC 262
Qué Alegría Cuando Me Dijeron (Manzano)  GP 270
Qué Alegría/I Rejoiced (Cortez)  FYC 261