What is a Psalter?
The Psalter is a book of the Tanakh and the Old Testament. Consists of 150 or 151 psalms: “songs” or “hymns”. The Psalter is the oldest book of Scripture.
It was written long before the coming of Jesus Christ to earth and is the only part of the Old Testament that is fully included in the liturgical charter of the Orthodox Church.
- In the Christian Bible, the Psalter is located after the book of Job and before the book of Proverbs of Solomon.
- The Orthodox Church uses translations based on the Septuagint, that is, the Greek numbering of the psalms.
- The Psalter has a poetic organization, and as a whole, the text can be considered as a poem.
- The Psalter as a holistic book is inherent in the appeal of a person to God as a personal force, a relentless
- Observer and Listener, testing the depths of the human heart.
Many of the psalms are believed to have been written by King David. The book also includes the prayers of Solomon, Moses and various ancient Jewish priests revered in Christianity.
Since ancient times, the singing of psalms was accompanied by playing the psalterion (a musical instrument similar to a harp).
The Psalter was already revered by the first Christians. Even in apostolic times, psalms were read by heart and used in worship. Today, these sacred texts are also used for daily services.
How to read the psalter at home?
For the laity, the general rules for reading psalms are similar to liturgical ones. Priests give the following advice for those who are just starting to learn home prayers and do not know how to read the Psalter correctly:
- When reading the psalms, it is recommended to light a candle or lamp at home. But the absence of these attributes is not considered a sin. The main thing here is to correctly set yourself up for prayers.
- For those who are new to the book of Psalms, you can start reading it in Russian. In the future, with spiritual development, one should switch to the Church Slavonic language, in which services are conducted in churches.
- In parallel, it will not be superfluous to study the interpretation of the psalms by the holy fathers. This will help to understand the history and meaning of prayers.
- The Church recommends reading the Psalter every day, just like the Gospel. Having finished reading the book, it is recommended to start it again, and so throughout life.
- During prayer, sometimes you will have to be distracted by household chores. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is better to devote time to prayers, free from routine matters.
- At the beginning of each collection, the initial prayers are indicated, with which the reading of the Psalter should begin. If you had to stop and continue reading the next day, you do not need to re-say the initial prayers. Having completed the entire book, you need to read the prayers that are indicated for reading at the end of the psalms.
- The reading order of the Psalter can be any. But it is best to go from beginning to end without missing a single kathisma.
- The titles of the psalms do not need to be read.
- You can read while sitting. It is necessary to get up only when reading the initial and final prayers, as well as at the Glory.
- Saint Seraphim of Sarov and Saint Ignatius advised to read the book of Psalms in a whisper or in an undertone, but not to oneself. It is believed that this contributes to a better perception of prayers and helps to maintain attention.
- What matters is not so much the reading order as the correct pronunciation. Special attention should be paid to the stresses in the words, since their incorrect placement can distort the meaning of the prayer. You need to read slightly in a singsong voice, monotonously, without showing emotions. The Church believes that theatricality and pretense seduces a person and contributes to his falling into sin.
Tehilim reading by day of the week:
What psalms should be read on what days?
There are many Jews who make it a custom to read certain Tehillim (Psalms) daily on certain days of the week, so as to complete the entire book of Tehillim weekly.
For others, it is customary to read certain Tehillim on certain days of the Jewish month – so as to complete the entire book of Tehillim every month.