The Psalter

The Psalter (Gk. Psaltírion;  Slav. Psaltír) contains the Book of Psalms.  A "liturgical Psalter" includes the 150 psalms, divided into kathismata, along with the nine Scriptural Canticles.  It may also contain the traditional prayers which are used when reciting the Psalter privately. 

Contents of the Psalter

The L'vov Psaltír (1871) contained the following:

The benefits from reading the Psalter
The order of the Psalter
The order of the Psalter during the Great Fast
On reciting the Psalter alone

First Kathisma of the Psalter (Psalms 1-8)
Penitential tropars
Prayer of the first kathisma
(The remaining nineteen kathismata, in the same order)

The nine Scriptural Canticles
The Prayer of Zechariah
Concluding prayers

The Psalter in Church Slavonic

For many years, the Stauropiggian Institute of the Church of the Dormition in L'vov printed a Psaltír with the contents given above.  In 1921, this Psalter was reprinted, with English translations of the Psalms, by the Greek Catholic Union in Homestead, Pennsylvania (see below). 

No new Psalter was printed as part of the Ruthenian reform of the 1940's.

The Psalter in English

In 1921, the Greek Catholic Union published an edition of the L'vov Psaltír of 1871.  Each of the 150 psalms was presented in Slavonic, and in a parallel English translation taken from the Douai-Rheims Bible.   The introductory material, kathisma prayers, and Scriptural canticles were included, but not translated into English.  This edition can sometimes be found in used book stores, and is available as a large (4 MB) PDF on this website.

In 1972, Dr. John P. Weisengoff and Father Joseph Shary prepared a new English translation of the  L'vov Psaltír, including the introduction, prayers, and Scriptural canticles.  This translation was published in 1985 by the St. Joseph's Institute of Detroit, Michigan, and also included a translation of a supplement taken from the Psaltír printed by the Basilian Fathers at Žovka in 1904.  The supplement contains a commentary on the Psalms and their use in the Divine Liturgy and other services, as well as a large collection of antiphons, prokeimena, alleluia and communion verses, arranged according to their liturgical use.

The Grail Psalter, a 1963 English translation of the psalms arranged for chanting, is used (with some accomodation to the Septuagint, and Byzantine liturgical practice) by the Inter-Eparchial Liturgy Commission of the Byzantine Catholic Church.  The Abbey Psalter prepared by the Trappist monks of Genesee Abbey is a particularly beautiful hand-lettered edition of the 1963 Grail psalter, suitable for use at the cantor's stand if the kathisma divisions are added.