The Psalms in Judeo-Christian Worship

The psalms, or Tehillim‎, תְהִלִּים, are a collection of 150 hymns that comprise one book in Jewish Scripture and the Christian Old Testament. The psalms are liturgical in nature. They were set to music and were sung with the accompaniment of a string musical instrument, such as the lyre. The terms “psalm” and “psalter” derive from the Greek word ψάλλειν [psallein] which means to to play a string instrument. The Hebrew word תְהִלִּים [tehillim] means “praises.”

It is presumed, based on data from Scripture that the psalms were sung during the Temple high feasts, and recited daily by the Levite priests. We have this testimony from 1 Chronicles 23:30

The priests must be present every morning to offer thanks and to praise the LORD, and likewise in the evening…

This tradition was maintained by the clergy of the Christian church from the earliest times. Today, psalms are part of a daily prayer ritual for Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican clergy. They recite Liturgy of the Hours. For Catholic and Orthodox clergy, the daily recitation of the psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours is a mandatory obligation. A wordpress blogger posts the daily prayers of the Office of Hours, including the psalms here: http://dailyoffice.wordpress.com/

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