• Latin: psalterium


Term ordinarily applied to collections of the Psalms of David as collected and used for the recitation of the Divine Office. There are two collections, the Roman Psaltery and the Gallican Psaltery. The former is the first translation of the Vetus Itala by Saint Jerome which was finished, c.385; the latter is a later translation, also by Saint Jerome. This translation found a readier acceptance in France and finally in the universal Church than the first. It is the psalter now in use in all churches excepting Saint Peter’s, Rome. The translation was made, c.393.

The word psaltery is also applied to a musical instrument used in the sacred chants. It is a stringed instrument similar to a harp, and the music is produced by strumming the strings either with the fingers or a plectron.

MLA Citation

  • “psaltery”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 August 2018. Web. 19 February 2019. <>