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A Commentary On The Psalms From Primitive and Mediæval Writers Volumes 1 To 4 by Rev. J.M. Neale D.D.

BESIDES the primary use of the Psalter in its integrity as the staple of the worship of the Christian Church in the Canonical Hours, which is in truth but an adaptation of Hebrew custom; there is a subsidiary mode of employing it, scarcely less important, to enrich and gem, as it were, a great variety of other offices, especially the crowning one of all, the Holy Eucharist.

The Western Church is far more varied and abundant than the Eastern in this mode of dealing with the Psalms, but the principle has been common to both from the very earliest times.

There are three principal varieties in the manner of weaving the Psalter into the rites of the Church, which are: first, citing a Psalm either entire or in a copious extract; second, breaking up portions of different Psalms into versicles and responses; third, introducing phrases from the Psalms into the course of collects and orisons, not by way of quotation, but as integral portions of the matter.

The examples which follow are not intended to be exhaustive of a necessarily wide subject, but to be sufficiently numerous and striking for adequate illustration of the intimate manner in which the Psalter has been blended with the whole sacramental and ritual organism of the Christian Church.








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