- Question: [Tuesday, 4th Adar 5781]
When is the ideal time for me to Daven Musaf on Shabbos or Rosh Chodesh? Sometimes when I am Davening at home, I like to take a break between the prayers and end up Davening Musaf in the afternoon as opposed to the morning. Is this okay?
This is not good! Musaf must initially be prayed prior to the seventh hour of the day, which is within one Zemaniyos hour after midday/Chatzos. Thus, for example, if midday is 11:50 pm and the Zemaniyos hour in your location is 50 minutes each, then you must initially Daven Musaf prior to 12:40 pm. Furthermore, it is proper to always try to Daven Musaf even prior to this time, prior to the entrance of the time of the Mincha prayer which begins 6 ½ hours into the day, and in the above example would be prior to 12:15, in order to avoid entering into a debate regarding which prayer one is to proceed, Musaf or Mincha, once the time of Mincha has arrived. You may obviously choose to Daven Musaf earlier as soon as you are done Davening Shacharis. Bedieved, however you may pray Musaf throughout the entire day up until sunset.
Explanation: Just as the sages established initial times of prayer for Shacharis and Mincha, so too they did also for Musaf. In addition, delaying Musaf past a half-hour past midday enters into a dispute amongst the Poskim as to which prayer one must proceed.
Sources: See regarding the times of Musaf: Admur 286:2; Michaber 286:1; Mishneh Brachos 26a; Brachos 28a; Megillah 20b; Ketzos Hashulchan 78:3; See regarding the debate of which prayer to proceed once it is already past 6 ½ hours into the day: Admur 286:5; 620:1; Michaber and Rama 286:4; Brachos 28a; Kaf Hachaim 286:36; Aruch Hashulchan 286:17; Piskeiy Teshuvos 286:10; Kitzur Halachos Umilium p. 83!