Eastern Orthodox Psalm Reading Plan

The Eastern Orthodox Church and other churches utilizing the Byzantine rite maintain a system of reading the Psalms weekly. The 150 Psalms are organized in twenty groups, each called a kathisma, and each kathisma in turn is divided into three sections, each called a stasis. Each kathisma is of roughly the same reading length, as is each stasis. This organization of the Psalms is then utilized in determining a set of Psalm readings for each week throughout the year. In most weeks, the 150 Psalms are read through in their entirety in one week. During Lent, however, the full body of 150 Psalms are read twice during the week.

The tables below have converted the kathisma numbers of each set of readings into the Psalm numbers according to the NRSV. With this set of tables and a calendar, one may follow in devotional reading the pattern of Psalms as they’re being used each day in Eastern Orthodox Church services throughout the world. I found great comfort in this practice during a particularly trying time in my life recently. I trust that others will find it so as well.

Sunday of St. Thomas (1st after Pascha) through 21 September

  Matins Vespers
Mon 25-37 38-46
Tue 47-64 65-70
Wed 71-85 86-91
Thu 92-105 106-109
Fri 135-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

* in place of Psalm 119, Psalms 135-136 may be used (throughout)

22 September through 19 December

  Matins Vespers
Mon 25-46 120-134
Tue 47-70 120-134
Wed 71-91 120-134
Thu 92-109 120-134
Fri 135-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

20 December through 14 January

  Matins Vespers
Mon 25-37 38-46
Tue 47-64 65-70
Wed 71-85 86-91
Thu 92-105 106-109
Fri 135-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

15 January through Sunday of the Prodigal Son (Sunday before Meatfare Week)

  Matins Vespers
Mon 25-46 120-134
Tue 47-70 120-134
Wed 71-91 120-134
Thu 92-109 120-134
Fri 135-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

Meatfare & Cheesefare Weeks

  Matins Vespers
Mon 25-37 38-46
Tue 47-64 65-70
Wed 71-85 86-91
Thu 92-105 106-109
Fri 135-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

Weeks 1 through 4 of the Great Fast

  Matins Prime Tierce Sext Nones Vespers
Mon 25-46 47-55 56-64 65-70 120-134
Tue 71-91 92-101 102-105 106-109 110-118 120-134
Wed 135-150;
1-8
9-17 18-24 25-32 33-37 120-134
Thu 38-64 65-70 71-77 78-85 86-91 120-134
Fri 92-109 135-143 144-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

Week 5, with the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete read on Thursday

  Matins Prime Tierce Sext Nones Vespers
Mon 25-46 47-55 56-64 65-70 71-77
Tue 78-101 102-105 106-109 110-118 120-134 135-143
Wed 144-150;
1-17
18-24 25-32 33-37 38-46 47-55
Thu 56-64 65-70 71-77 78-85 86-91
Fri 92-109 135-143 144-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

Week 5 when Thursday is the Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos (25 March)

  Matins Prime Tierce Sext Nones Vespers
Mon 25-46 47-55 56-64 65-70 71-77 78-85
Tue 86-91 92-101 102-105 106-109 110-118
Wed 135-150;
1-8
9-17 18-24 25-32 33-37
Thu 38-64 65-70 71-77 78-85 86-91
Fri 92-109 135-143 144-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

Week 6 of the Great Fast

  Matins Prime Tierce Sext Nones Vespers
Mon 25-46 47-55 56-64 65-70 120-134
Tue 71-91 92-101 102-105 106-109 110-118 120-134
Wed 135-150;
1-8
9-17 18-24 25-32 33-37 120-134
Thu 38-64 65-70 71-77 78-85 86-91 120-134
Fri 92-109 135-143 144-150 120-134
Sat 110-119 1-8
Sun 9-24;119*

Holy Week

  Matins Prime Tierce Sext Nones Vespers
Mon 25-46 47-55 56-64 120-134
Tue 65-85 86-91 92-101 120-134
Wed 102-118 135-143 144-150   120-134
Thu
Fri
Sat 119

(no readings Paschal Sunday until Vespers)

Bibliography
Archbishop Joseph Raya and Baron Jose de Vinck.  Byzantine Daily Worship.  Allendale, NJ:  Alleluia
Press, 1969.  See pp 27-30
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.  The Festal Menaion.  South
Canaan, Pennsylvania: St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, 1998.  See pp 530-534

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