Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PSALMS, BOOK OF

A collection of divinely inspired hymns or poems, also known as the "Psalter of David if 150 Psalms" (Council of Trent, Denzinger 1502). The Hebrew title of the book is Tehilim, hymns or songs of praise. Although David is the principal author, he is not the only author of the Psalms. They are divided into five sections, each section closing with a doxology, thus 1-40, 41-71, 72-88, 89-105,105-150, according to the Vulgate. About 100 Psalms have titles that indicate the author, historical occasion, musical notation, or type of poetry. These titles, though not inspired, have great historical value. Each Psalm has its own theme and purpose, with eight such themes commonly distinguishable, namely: 1. hymns of praise and gratitude to God (8,17, 102-6, 145-150); 2. petitions (29, 63, 73, 93); 3. didactic or moral instruction (1, 48, 118); 4. penitential (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142); 5. imprecatory (17,34, 58, 68, 78, 93, 108, 129, 142); 6. historical account of God's providential care of Israel (75, 104, 105, 113, 134, 135); 7. gradual or pilgrim songs (119-33); 8. Messianic (2, 15, 21, 44, 68, 71). Use of the Psalms for divine worship was adopted by the Church after apostolic times. Today they are the main part of the Liturgy of the Hours.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War 18 hours ago
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18
St. Augustine's warning to pastors September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18