The Psalter

Work is underway to prepare a complete Psalter pointed for singing according to the nine Gregorian Psalm tones, for which some early Lutheran sources provided four-part settings. The text is a slightly modified form of the King James Version. As Psalms are prepared they will be added here.

Psalm Tones



The Canticles


The Lutheran tradition of psalmody was largely inherited from the Roman. Here follows a table of the Psalms sung according to the Roman breviary at the time of the Reformation. The numbering is according to the Masoretic Text. Psalms listed individually are sung with Gloria Patri under their own antiphons. Psalms separated by commas are sung each with Gloria Patri, but all under only one antiphon. Ranges of psalms, indicated by a dash (–), are sung with Gloria Patri only at the conclusion of the psalms. Non-consecutive psalms sung with only one Gloria Patri are indicated with a plus sign (+).

The Psalter Distributed over One Week according to the Roman Breviary at the Time of the Reformation
 SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Matins 95 (Venite)
1, 2, 3, 6
7, 8, 9–10, 11
12, 13, 14, 15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Te Deum Laudamus
27, 28
29, 30
31, 32
33, 34
35, 36
37, 38
39, 40
41, 42
44, 45
46, 47
48, 49
50, 52
53, 55
56, 57
58, 59
60, 61
62, 64
66, 68
69, 70
71, 72
73, 74
75, 76
77, 78
79, 80
81, 82
83, 84
85, 86
87, 88
89, 94
96, 97
98, 99
100, 101
102, 103
104, 105
106, 107
108, 109
Lauds 93, 100 51
5 43 65 90 143 92
63+67*
Benedicite omnia opera Confitebor tibi Ego dixi Exultavit cor meum Cantemus Domino Domine, audivi Audite, coeli
148–150
Benedictus
Prime 22, 23, 24, 25, 26  
54
118  
119:1–16, 17–32
Athanasian Creed†  
Terce 119:33–48, 49–64, 65–80
Sext 119:81–96, 97–112, 113–128
None 119:129–144, 145–160, 161–176
Vespers 110
111
112
113
114–115
116:1–9
116:10–16
117
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
144
145
146
147:1–11
147:12–20
Magnificat
Compline 4, 31:1–5, 91, 134
Nunc Dimittis

*All of the psalms at Lauds until the Old Testament Canticle are sung under one antiphon.

All of the psalms at Sunday Prime from Psalm 22 through the end of the Athanasian Creed are sung under one antiphon. On weekdays Psalms 54, 119:1–16, and 119:17–32 are sung under one antiphon.

The feature of the Roman psalmody most universally preserved in the Lutheran tradition is the Vesper psalms, which are sung in the same order and with the same antiphons. Some locations continued to observe Lauds and Compline as well, with the same fixed psalms and canticles. Observance of the hours of Prime, Terce, Sext, and None was rare, but not unheard of. The biggest difference was at Matins, where only 1 to 3 psalms were typically sung, according to the principle of lectio continua.