Prayer & Worship How do you implement the Psalter in your prayer rule?

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
I'm curious how some of you pray the Psalms. I'm still experimenting, but here's the little that I do currently:

Morning prayer: Towards the end I pray Psalms 3, 37, 62, 87, 102, 142 (The "Six Psalms)

Evening prayer: Psalm 4

Eventually I'd like to move to praying the entire Psalter every so X days or weeks.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
I'm curious how some of you pray the Psalms. I'm still experimenting, but here's the little that I do currently:

Morning prayer: Towards the end I pray Psalms 3, 37, 62, 87, 102, 142 (The "Six Psalms)

Evening prayer: Psalm 4

Eventually I'd like to move to praying the entire Psalter every so X days or weeks.
I have the Ancient Faith Psalter* and I really like that, it's organized into kathismata and stases in the same order monastics read them during the week. During Lent I read at least a kathisma a day. During the Nativity Fast I tried doing more but I ended up failing - I hit my limit. Now I just read a stasis a day before bed.

Your method sounds much more conducive to memorizing them.

*This psalter is a high quality book as far as its construction and it's taken a lot of abuse without showing too much wear. Ancient Faith gets a bad reputation in more based Orthodox circles but this book is fine for my purposes. Some people may have issues with the translations.
 

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
I've written a bit about this elsewhere here and on Twitter, but what I do is pray one stasis (section of Psalms) in my morning prayers, and another during the evening prayers (sometimes two in the evening.) In both, I do this before the start of the numbered prayers, somewhat preserving the feel of where kathismata of Psalms are chanted in the monastic hours. The benefit of this approach is that you will read the entire Psalter every 1.5-2 months or less if you generally keep this pattern, and in just one year you'll (hopefully? Probably?) get a deeper appreciation of the Psalms and absorb them better when you hear them chanted in Church services.

The problem with the monastic style of reciting the entire Psalter in a week is that it's hard to adapt for the layman, who's usually just doing morning and evening prayers instead of all the Hours, so you wind up praying a couple of Psalms constantly while never praying the rest. I think praying the middle stasis in the middle of day and the third at evening prayers would be a great pattern, but I haven't managed to successfully keep this yet.

(For those unfamiliar with the Orthodox breakdown of the Psalms, the Psalter is broken down into twenty kathismata, groupings of Psalms; and each kathisma is further broken down into three stases, usually have 3-5 Psalms depending on the length of the Psalms. Each stasis ends with "Glory to the Father... Alleluia... Lord have mercy... Glory to the Father..." making these sections easy to distinguish in Orthodox Psalters.)

I use the Psalter According To The Seventy by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, which in addition to being in my opinion the best English translation of the Psalms, is the version used by my ROCOR parish for all of their services. Also available in a pocket edition, though I usually use the bigger one. HTM's translation is used for all the Psalms in the Jordanville Prayer Book and Horologion, so it will maintain the same consistency as the style of language in those books.

As much as I love this particular Psalter, you're probably best off using the same translation as the parish you attend. This will help you to memorize the Psalms and absorb them better than if you're frequently hearing different versions.

In ROCOR usage, the HTM Psalter is probably the most commonly used, though they're pushing A Psalter For Prayer in an attempt to get away from dependency on HTM. While not a bad translation, being an adaptation of the Myles Coverdale Psalter in traditional Anglican use but "corrected" based on the Septuagint Psalms, I find it's rather dull compared to HTM's (and even the original Coverdale translation) and people at my parish don't like it much. However, the supplementary material in this book is excellent, so if your parish uses this Psalter it's not a bad way to go.
 
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Alexander_English

Robin
Protestant
I'm curious how some of you pray the Psalms. I'm still experimenting, but here's the little that I do currently:

Morning prayer: Towards the end I pray Psalms 3, 37, 62, 87, 102, 142 (The "Six Psalms)

Evening prayer: Psalm 4

Eventually I'd like to move to praying the entire Psalter every so X days or weeks.

I'm not Orthodox but I am planning to attend Liturgy tomorrow morning at a ROCOR monastery near where I live to start taking some steps. I can answer from my current practice... 12 Psalms each morning, first reading the Psalm silently and making sure it's clear in mind, then aloud. I've been all the way around the book quite a few times now, and it's one of the best things I ever started doing.

After getting this discipline down I've been able to add readings from the Prophets and Gospels, usually 2-3 chapters from each, sometimes much more. I've been around all 4 Gospels now quite a few times as well.

I got the idea from one of the anecdotes in a book you recommended, "Wisdom of the Desert Fathers." Thank you for that.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
though they're pushing A Psalter For Prayer in an attempt to get away from dependency on HTM. While not a bad translation, being an adaptation of the Myles Coverdale Psalter in traditional Anglican use but "corrected" based on the Septuagint Psalms, I find it's rather dull compared to HTM's (and even the original Coverdale translation) and people at my parish don't like it much. However, the supplementary material in this book is excellent, so if your parish uses this Psalter it's not a bad way to go.
I just got the pocket version of this. It's fantastic compared to the Ancient Faith Psalter I had been using. Like you say, the supplementary material and the prayers pre, post, and in between psalms are fantastic. Whereas before praying the psalms I felt like I was going through the motions, "A Psalter for Prayer" truly feels like I am doing a legitimate prayer service. Some of the language is clumsy in my opinion but much better than the modern English found in the Ancient Faith Psalter.
 

OrthoSerb

Robin
Orthodox
I'm curious how some of you pray the Psalms. I'm still experimenting, but here's the little that I do currently:

Morning prayer: Towards the end I pray Psalms 3, 37, 62, 87, 102, 142 (The "Six Psalms)

Evening prayer: Psalm 4

Eventually I'd like to move to praying the entire Psalter every so X days or weeks.
In Serbia a lot of confessors encourage people to try to include the Psalms in their weekly prayer cycle. It's possible to go through all 150 Psalms in a week, its not as difficult as one might think. The 150 Psalms are split into 20 "kathismas", 3 of which are read each day. Personally I have more time in the evening so I read one kathisma in the morning and 2 in the evening.

 
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