We must raise $453 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
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
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13