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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Psalter, the

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The name given to the Book of Psalms as set forth in the Prayer-book for use in Public Worship. The Psalms were originally set forth to be sung, not said, and this is the only proper way of rendering them in the Church's service. The colon to be found in each verse of the Psalter is put there to facilitate chanting them. The present method of reading the Psalter arose simply from lack of musical facilities in the early days of the Church in this country; and because this method still prevails in many places, the average Churchman thinks this is the proper way of rendering them. This is a mistake, and in many parishes this mistake has been corrected; the Psalter for the day being sung just as the detached Psalms, such as the Venite, Jubilate, etc., are sung. It is to be noted that the version of the Psalter is not that of the Authorized Version of 1611, but that of the Great Bible of 1540. This was retained in the Prayer-book because the people had become familiar with it, and because it is more rhythmical and suited to chanting. The Psalter is divided into sixty portions to be used at Daily Morning and Evening Prayer and is thus designed to be read through once a month. (See DAILY PRAYER.)

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Psalter, the'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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