After the priests concluded sacrificing the daily morning offering, they would enter the Sanctuary to prostrate themselves. On occasions when the High Priest would enter the Sanctuary to prostrate himself, he would enter before the other priests. When the High Priest enters the Sanctuary, three priests hold him to assist him and support him, in order to distinguish the service of the High Priest from that of the other priests entering the Sanctuary. One priest held his right hand and one priest held his left hand, and one priest stood behind the High Priest, holding onto the two precious onyx stones located on the shoulders of the High Priest, on the ephod. And once the appointed priest heard the sound from the feet of the High Priest, produced by the bells attached to the bottom of his robe, he knew that the High Priest was emerging from the Sanctuary, and he lifted the curtain suspended at the opening of the Entrance Hall for him, to facilitate his exit. After the High Priest entered and prostrated himself and emerged from the Sanctuary, his brethren the priests entered, prostrated themselves, and emerged from the Sanctuary.
After the priests emerged from the Sanctuary, they came and stood on the twelve stairs before the Entrance Hall. The first five priests stood to the south of their brethren, the priests, who had taken the limbs of the daily offering up to the altar. And those five priests had five vessels in their hands: The basket with the ashes from the inner altar was in the hands of one priest; and the jug with the ashes from the Candelabrum was in the hands of one priest; and the coal pan was in the hands of one priest; and the smaller vessel, the bowl that held the incense, was in the hands of one priest, who had burned the incense; and the spoon and its cover were in the hands of one priest, the friend or relative of the one who burned the incense. The priests placed their vessels on the ground and then blessed the people, reciting one blessing. The Priestly Benediction was recited outside the Temple as well, but in the Temple, it was recited differently, as in the rest of the country the priests would recite it as three blessings, and the listeners would answer amen after each blessing. But in the Temple they would recite it as one blessing, and the listeners would not respond to each blessing. Rather, at the conclusion of the entire Priestly Benediction they would answer: Blessed are You Lord, God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. In the Temple, the priests would recite the name of God as it is written, with the letters yod, heh, vav, heh, whereas in the rest of the country the priests would recite the name of God by His appellation, alef, dalet, nun, yod. Furthermore, in the rest of the country, while reciting the Priestly Benediction the priests lift their hands opposite their shoulders, and in the Temple they raise them above their heads. That is the halakha with regard to all priests in the Temple, except for the High Priest, who does not raise his hands above the frontplate on his forehead, as the name of God is written on the frontplate. Rabbi Yehuda says: Even the High Priest would raise his hands above the frontplate while reciting the Priestly Benediction in the Temple, as it is stated with regard to the Priestly Benediction recited by Aaron the High Priest: “And Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them” (Leviticus 9:22).
The High Priest is entitled to sacrifice any offering brought to the Temple, at his discretion. When the High Priest wishes to burn the limbs of the daily offering and the accompanying meal offering, he would ascend the ramp to the altar, and the deputy High Priest would walk to his right. When he reached half the height of the ramp, the Deputy would hold his right hand and take him up to the altar at the top of the ramp. And the first of the nine priests who took the limbs up to the altar handed the High Priest the head and the hind leg of the offering, and the High Priest placed his hands upon them and then threw them onto the altar fire. Next the second of the nine priests handed the two forelegs of the offering to the first priest. He gave them to the High Priest, who placed his hands upon them and then threw them onto the altar fire. At that point, the second priest slipped away and left. And in that manner the priests would hand the High Priest the rest of all the limbs, and he would place his hands upon them and then throw them onto the altar fire. And when he wishes, he places his hands and others throw the limbs onto the fire. When the High Priest, who was at the top of the ramp on the south side of the altar, came to circle the altar to reach the southwestern corner, where he would pour the libation of wine, from where does he begin? He begins from the southeastern corner and continues to the northeastern corner, then to the northwestern corner, and ultimately reaches the southwestern corner. At that point, the priests gave him wine to pour. The Deputy stands at the High Priest’s side at the corner of the altar and the cloths are in his hand, so that he can wave them to signal to the Levites to begin singing when the High Priest pours the libation. Two priests stand at the marble table of the fats, where the limbs and fats were placed before being taken to the altar, and there were two silver trumpets in their hands. These two priests sounded a tekia, a long continuous blast; they then sounded a terua, a series of staccato blasts; and lastly they sounded another tekia to alert the Levites to prepare to recite the psalm. The priests with the trumpets came and stood near ben Arza, the title given to the person who was tasked with striking the cymbals, one to his right and one to his left. Then the High Priest stooped to pour the libation, and the Deputy waved the cloths, and ben Arza struck the cymbals, and the Levites recited the psalm of that day of the week. Each psalm was divided into three sections. Whenever the Levites reached the end of one section of the psalm, the priests sounded a tekia, and the people in the courtyard prostrated themselves. At the end of each section there was a tekia, and for every tekia there was a prostration. That is the procedure for the sacrifice of the daily offering in the service of the House of our God; may it be His will that it will be speedily rebuilt in our day, amen.
The following is a list of each daily psalm that the Levites would recite in the Temple. On the first day of the week they would recite the psalm beginning: “A psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and all who live in it” (Psalms, chapter 24). On the second day they would recite the psalm beginning: “A song; a psalm of the sons of Korah. Great is the Lord and highly to be praised in the city of God, on His sacred mountain” (Psalms, chapter 48). On the third day they would recite the psalm beginning: “A psalm of Asaph. God stands in the divine assembly; among the judges He delivers judgment” (Psalms, chapter 82). On the fourth day they would recite the psalm beginning: “O Lord God, to Whom vengeance belongs, God to Whom vengeance belongs, shine forth” (Psalms, chapter 94). On the fifth day they would recite the psalm beginning: “For the leader; upon the Gittith, a psalm of Asaph. Sing for joy to God, our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob” (Psalms, chapter 81). On the sixth day they would recite the psalm beginning: “The Lord reigns: He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, girded with strength” (Psalms, chapter 93). On Shabbat they would recite the psalm beginning: “A psalm, a song for Shabbat day” (Psalms, chapter 92). This is interpreted as a psalm, a song for the future, for the day that will be entirely Shabbat and rest for everlasting life.