[... The] mystical prelude to Shabbat services composed by 16th century Kabbalists. This Hebrew term literally means "Receiving the Sabbath". In many communities, the piyut Yedid Nefesh introduces the Kabbalat Shabbat prayers.
Kabbalat Shabbat is, except for amongst many Italian and Spanish and Portuguese Jews, composed of six psalms, 95 to 99, and 29, representing the six week-days. Next comes the poem Lekha Dodi. Composed by Rabbi Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz in the mid-16th century, it is based on the words of the Talmudic sage Hanina: "Come, let us go out to meet the Queen Sabbath" (Talmud Shabbat 119a).
Kabbalat Shabbat is concluded by Psalm 92 (the recital of which constitutes men's acceptance of the current Shabbat with all its obligations) and Psalm 93. Many add a study section here, including Bameh Madlikin and Amar rabbi El'azar and the concluding Kaddish deRabbanan and is then followed by the Maariv service; other communities delay the study session until after Maariv. Still other customs add here a passage from the Zohar.