You will find on this page the complete Psalter from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer pointed for Anglican Chant. The object is to create a pointed psalter that is very different from and much more accessible to the average choir and congregation than the late Dr. Alex Wyton's Anglican Church Psalter, however fine that may be for expert choirs. My intention is that my online Psalter should be easy enough to be sung by congregations as well as choirs. To facilitate this I recommend that the pointing, and preferably also the chant, be printed out in the church bulletin.
I have tried as far as possible to use chants that are familiarly associated with the psalm concerned — for example, by using Sir John Goss' well-known chant for Psalm 23, as was done by Sir David Willcocks in his memorable recordings of The Psalms of David with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. This has the added advantages that all these chants are long since in the public domain and may be freely reproduced, and also that they are particularly melodious and tuneful. More recent chants, though often creative and musical, do not always have a melody that a congregation may easily latch onto. I have tried achieve variety by using a different chant for each psalm (or in some cases sections of psalms) and everyone should feel free to mix and match; some churches find it helpful to keep the same chant for several weeks, so that the congregation can get familiar with it.
The pointing system I have adopted is a modified version of that used in the Episcopal Hymnal of 1940. An asterisk * is used to designate the two halves of the verse, as in the Prayer Book. Whereas the Prayer Book prints some half-verses on more than one line, I have avoided this since it encourages sloppy breathing. The bar-lines correspond with those of the chant; a dot • indicates a change of note within a bar; bold type indicates that two notes are to be sung on the same syllable. Though it sometimes makes musical sense to omit the reciting note in short verses, I have avoided doing this since this often tends to confuse a congregation. I have felt free to include passing notes, however, since, contrary to what some may think, it is my experience that choirs and congregations easily get the hang of them. Those who would prefer to omit the passing notes, however, should feel free to do so. † indicates that the second half of the chant is to be repeated. I have avoided the use of brackets above the text rather than bar-lines, since congregations also seem to find these rather confusing. Note, however, that when there are three syllables in a bar they should as far as possible be sung as a triplet. In common with many recent psalters I have printed the chants in 2:4 rather than 4:4 time; this is simply to make the chants easier to read.
With regard to the Gloria Patri, this is not normally used at the Eucharist, where the Psalm is considered to be part of the Ministry of the Word from the Hebrew Bible. In the choir services of Mattins and Evensong, however, the Psalms are considered to be Christian hymns and the Gloria Patri is generally added, at least at the end of the last psalm. It might be pointed as follows:
Glory to the Father, and | to the | Son, *
and | to the | Holy | Spirit:
As it was in the be- | ginning, • is | now, *
and will be for | ever. | A- |men.
Those who disagree with the particular pointing I have adopted should feel free to change it, or even to produce their own psalter. Some choirs change the pointing even during the final rehearsal.