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Cataloging Biblical Materials

Definitions of Psalters, Evangeliaries, Liturgical Books

Both the Psalms and the Gospels, as Biblical books, were put to special use as liturgical books. All the books of the Bible were represented in the Liturgy, that is in public worship, but in the form of isolated fragments in prayers and readings. There are two special forms of these liturgical books. In both cases, the Biblical texts were arranged according to the needs of the liturgical calendar, not according to the order in which they appear in the Bible.

The current liturgy of the Catholic Church does not have the Psalter per se, rather these manuscripts were produced when the Psalter was a separate book.

  1. The Book of Psalms was used as a unit, and the term Psalter was used. This was a distinct liturgical book.
  2. The Book of the Gospels (collectively) was also used as a distinct liturgical book, and was called an Evangeliary.
Important distinctions must be made regarding Psalters and Evangeliaries. They are distinct, bibliographically, from the Biblical Book of Psalms and the Gospels. Although occasionally these terms were used for the Biblical books themselves, much more often psalters and evangeliaries were liturgical books. It depends on the nature of the publication in hand.

Since the content is the same (though not the arrangement or function), there must be a way of distinguishing them bibliographically. There are two ways of distinguishing them from editions of the Biblical text: either as an edition of the liturgical book, or as a work of art (or as a reproduction of a work of art).

Continue with:Cataloging Instructions for:
Biblical Texts
Liturgical Works
Works of Art

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