Psalms, liturgical use of

Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Psalms, liturgical use of. Use of Psalms in the Jewish and Christian liturgical services. Their regular use in Christian liturgy is at least as early as the 4th cent. (though in fact probably as early as Christianity itself). The introduction of Gregorian chant (see GREGORY I) universalized the style of their use; and St Benedict made it a requirement in his Rule that the whole psalter should be said or sung each week—an observance still followed by many religious orders. The increasing disappearance of morning and evening prayer as liturgical services has led to a marked decline in the use of the psalter, though metrical psalms (psalms translated into metrical hymns) remain popular; and some modern forms of chant (e.g., Gelineau and Taizé) have kept parts of psalms in use.