“My Lord, Open My Lips…”

Question

“Adonai, s’fatai tiftach ufi yagid t’hilatecha”

Opening line of the Amidah

Is this line supposed to be recited every time we say the Amidah?
Is it said at Shacharit, Musaf, Mincha, and Maariv?

Is it a personal line said quietly or does the Cantor say it aloud?
Is it said during the repetition of the Amidah?

It seems that in my congregation it is only recited out loud periodically
and with a special niggun.

Thanks.

, , 5 months

Answers

  1. This verse from Psalms 51:17 is said at the start of the Amidah at every prayer service: Shacharit, Musaf, Mincha and Ma’ariv. (An additional verse from Deuteronomy 32:3 is also said prior to this verse in the Mincha and Musaf Amidahs.)

    It is a personal line said quietly and the Cantor (Chazzan) does not say it out loud for the congregation to hear. As the words imply, it is a request from God to help us open our lips in prayer – our hearts and minds may be ready for prayer, but we still need God’s help to open our lips and actually say the words of our prayers.

    I am sorry to disappoint, but I am not familiar with the various customs (or any custom) of the congregation saying it out loud or with a special niggun.

    I hope that this answer is clear and helpful.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team