Uva letzion (ובא לציון "and [a redeemer] shall come to Zion") are the Hebrew opening words, and colloquially the name, of the closing prayer of the weekday morning service, before which one should not leave the synagogue (as ruled by the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 132). The prayer is also recited during Mincha on Shabbat and Yom Tov as well as during Ne'ila on Yom Kippur.
The prayer consists of a series of scriptural verses which include the Kedusha and its Aramaic translation, and two ancient prayers embodying an aspiration for enlightenment and Messianic Redemption. It is always preceded immediately or closely by Ashrei (Psalm 145).
Uva letzion is not chanted at length; the greater portion is read in an undertone after the Chazzan has intoned the introductory lines. The chant for these, in the ritual of the Ashkenazim, is founded on the prayer-motive of Shabbat afternoon service (see Music, Synagogal); but in the tradition of the Sephardim there is employed a special chant, of which a variant is used for Ps. xvi., recited shortly afterward, at the expiration of Shabbat. It is this melody which is here transcribed. In the frequent repetition of a short phrase, and the modification of it to fit the text, it reproduces the chief peculiarity of the worship-music traceable to a Spanish source earlier than 1492.A. F. L. C.
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