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Shestopsalmie: text of the prayer in Russian, numbers of psalms, how to read

Shestopsalmie: text of the prayer with accents in Russian, numbers of psalms

I consider the Six Psalms very important part of the morning church service, it consists of certain psalms. I read these texts daily and I also recommend you.

Today I will tell the features of these prayers and the rules for their reading.

Shestopsalmie in worship

Every day, during the morning service in the temples, the Shestopsalmiya is recited — these are six specially selected psalms, which are read in a strictly established order: In the general church choir, Shestopsalmiya can be defined by a minor sound and the creation of a particularly strict environment. In the church, the Royal Doors are closing, candles and lights are being extinguished, all the gathered believers stand motionless, and the reader solemnly speaks psalms from the middle of the temple.

In these words the prayer of sorrow, repentance and hope is heard.

Shestopsalmie: text of the prayer in Russian, numbers of psalms, how to read

Shestopsalmie is considered mandatory for morning worship, so it goes on all year round, with the exception of Easter week. This fact speaks of the great importance of the Six Psalms.

It is believed that it reflects the most important event in the life of mankind — the coming of the Lord into the world.

In its present form, the Shestopsalmie entered worship service around the 7th century. Mention of this can be found in the statutes of the monasteries and in the records of many priests of that era. According to some reports, it was believed that to some extent, the Six Psalms could replace the entire Psalter.

Until now, it is not known exactly who established the Six Psalms. It is also not known for certain why exactly these six psalms are included in it.

However, the fact that they have something in common is an established fact.

The structure of the Six Psalms

One thing is certain, the Six Psalms are not spontaneously selected psalms. These are texts, put together, they have a common «melody», structure and differences. These features include:

  1. The Psalms for Shesopsalmia are chosen evenly from different places. Thus, it becomes clear that they, as it were, represent the entire Holy Book.
  2. All selected psalms include the life of King David and refer to the period of his life.
  3. The tone and content of these psalms are about the same. The essence comes down to the following: the righteous are persecuted by the enemies, and he relies only on God.
  4. 3,37,87 and 142 — requests for deliverance from enemies, and 62 and 102 — thanks for this wonderful deliverance.
  5. Each one deals with night and morning, which is why they are read in the morning service.
  6. There is a clear alternation of sad psalms (they stand on even places) and joyful ones (respectively, on odd ones).

The Life of King David for Six Psalms

The inscriptions indicate that the author of these psalms is King David, who is also a psalmist and a prophet. The period of his life — 1000 years before Christ.

In the Psalms, however, it is about the fact that David from a young age was subjected to persecution of enemies, his whole life path was littered with dangers, temptations and sorrows.

It is mentioned that David never lost faith in God, even in moments of mortal perils. At the same time, the king always affixed the Most High — the tone is basic for all six psalms.

Unconditional trust and trust in the Lord comes through in every line.

  1. In the 62nd, the period when David took refuge from a bitter enemy in the Judean desert. The enemy envied David and feared for his own throne — it was King Saul. According to some reports, this psalm reflects the rebellion of the son of David Absalom. David took this rebellion as the punishment of the Lord. Therefore, he did not see for himself the right to suppress the rebellion of the treacherous son by force, but left everything to the judgment of the Lord. It is for this reason that he did not raise his troops against his son, and not at all from lack of courage or lack of soldiers. In this situation, David saw for himself one possible way out — to flee.
  2. In Psalm 37, the penitential motive is most clearly heard. At the time of writing this text, Absalom’s uprising was only being prepared.
  3. The 87th is very close to the previous one. Its author is Heman the Israelite, whom David made the head of one of their choirs. Heman entered David’s inner circle, knew him well and happily shared all the tzar’s life. This is all found in this psalm.
  4. Psalms 3 and 142 are directly Absalom’s rebellion, and it is described very eloquently, especially the way the son pursued his father, who was running away. The whole text is imbued with the main idea — David firmly relied only on the will of the Lord, but not on his own human strength.
  5. Psalm 102 — belongs to the pen of David himself, but belongs to a later period, when he already entered a rather old age. This text can be called gratitude to God for deliverance from Babylonian slavery.

Psalm Comparison

Not for nothing, the Six Psalms are read when candles are extinguished, at a time when dawn begins to pour over the morning sky. It symbolizes the transition from the Old Testament gloom to the Gospel light. It was already mentioned that the theme of the night and the morning found its reflection in all six psalms.

It is noteworthy that such alternations, as it were, are growing, and in the end — the bright hope of God’s mercy.

Shestopsalmie: text of the prayer in Russian, numbers of psalms, how to read

In addition, the tone of the poems and content are homogeneous. In four psalms, the topic is praise of God, the author offers prayers, and the Lord hears them.

The increased effect comes from the constantly duplicated word «hear.» This creates a sense of continuity of prayer, as well as the fact that it is truly heard.

The theme of persecution is traced in the same psalms of Six Psalms. Especially noted is that among the enemies there are quite a few people who were among the confidants of King David.

Everything that happened is the wrath of the Lord. This is especially noted by the author in the texts. David speaks of this in the saddest psalms — 37 and 87.

This is his interpretation of all his misfortunes. However, there is a change in the mood of David: if at first he prays not to punish him with anger, then he humbly accepts such punishment and sees in him the expression of God’s will.

Hope in God is the main theme, it goes through the entire Psalter and the Six Psalms. The idea that with every one He acts not by justice, but by mercy. In psalm 102, it is even mentioned that the Heavenly Father takes care of his sons more than the earthly father.

He always knows what to do to make it better for His children.

Features of the composition

The main features are:

  1. Shestopsalmie consists of two parts, as a link used is a praise in a small amount.
  2. The alternation of joyful and sad psalms (in some interpretations they are called morning and evening, major and minor). Moreover, the peak of joy comes at the end of the major odd triad, and sadness — in the middle of the even. According to the researchers, the general optimistic tone of the Six Psalms, even despite moaning, depends on it.
  3. The unity of the Six Seversal betrays the fact that the first and the last of his psalms come down more than all the others.

Important importance is the insertion of words between the psalms, although interpreters are not inclined to give them any importance. And they have an impact on the composition itself, as well as on the general meaning of the Six Psalms.

These words are the connecting links that unite the psalms together. They also give the melodiousness of Shestopsalmiya, which makes it literally turn into a continuous long prayer.

Spiritual meaning

Even having thoroughly studied the history, content and composition of the Shestopsalmiya, it is not always possible to immediately grasp the spiritual meaning. In it, as well as in the Psalter, there are two main directions of spiritual consideration:

  1. Messianic theme.
  2. Spiritual and moral component.

Topics are inextricably linked. The Messianic theme is revealed by the fact that King David, being a prophet, constantly, throughout his life, declared about the Most High, His power, the Last Judgment.

Shestopsalmie: text of the prayer in Russian, numbers of psalms, how to read

Each of these psalms somehow contains a prophecy about the Messiah. It looks like separate verses of a prophetic character, intricately woven into the texts of Shestopsalmiya.

The same prophecy is reflected in the spiritual and moral theme — the psalmist shows the worldview of a Christian person in psalms.

Reading rules

As mentioned at the very beginning, the Six Psalms requires a special approach to reading. Reading in the middle of the temple helps to create the most solemn atmosphere.

The same can be said about the lights turned off, extinguished candles. Twilight should help the assembled believers to penetrate the readable, to prevent distraction from foreign objects.

Beginners can not immediately grasp the essence of what is happening and sometimes are at a loss — for which all these manipulations are carried out. Gradually, they will also reach the hidden meaning of all these actions.

According to the statute, when reading the Shestopsalmiya, a special reverence should be expressed — no need to make unnecessary movements, whispers, not to mention talking. It is believed that the Six Psalms should be read as prayers, and not as kathismas.

Home reading of Shestopsalmiya is allowed, it is also possible to listen to it on audio media.


  1. Shestopsalmie — six psalms, combined together.
  2. The unification of psalms is not accidental — it has its own meaning.
  3. Special rules for reading must be strictly observed.

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