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Gradual Psalms

Fifteen psalms

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Gradual Psalms,—Fifteen psalms, viz. Pss. 119-133 (in Hebrew 120-134), bear the inscription in Hebrew SYR HM`LVT; Ps. 120 (121) has LM`LVT, in the Vulgate canticum graduum, which is translated in the Douay Version as “a gradual canticle”. The Authorized Version calls them “songs of degrees”; the Revised Version, “songs of ascents”. Of the various conjectural explanations, the most probable regards them as psalms recited when going up to the annual festivals in Jerusalem, pilgrim-songs (see Psalms). The days on which the Gradual psalms were formerly recited are still indicated in the Roman Breviary, but the obligation of reciting them was removed by St. Pius V.


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