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There seem to be two sorts of selichos: (1) those in Elul and the 10 days of Repentance and (2) the selichos for fast days.

Type (1) are typically said before all the morning prayers and type (2) are added in after (or during) the morning amidah.

Is it possible to say the type (2) selichos before all the morning prayers and if so, does one have to say “Ashrei” and Half-Kaddish first?

  • I think a few minyanim in my neighborhood say fast day selichot before Shacharit. They say selichot about 20 mins, before the regular Shacharit minyan time. Perhaps, they do this for the "convenience" of those who don't want to say selichot and this way, they when they come to minyan at the normal minyan time, it is the same length, and they don't miss their morning train to work. I don't know about the Ashrei, etc. However, considering that Yom Kippur Kattan includes it, I sense that this may be the procedure. – DanF Jan 5 '18 at 19:01
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Partial answer

See this article which sites Likutei Maharich that explains why for Selichot Yamim Nora'im they added Ashrei and other items

In summary, he says that Ashrei is like psukei Dezimra. The Selichot with the 13 Middot is like Shemoneh Esreh, and at the end of Selichot, they say Tachanun and end with Kaddish, similar to the main content of a Shacharit service.

So, while I haven't yet found a source that specifically allows saying fast day Selichot before Shacharit, (see my comment above that implies that it looks like it's fine to do this. but I can't affirm it.) I'm inferring from this article that one would have to follow the format that is used during the Elul - Erev Yom Kippur Selichot, i.e. Ashrei, etc. I think the reasoning is general to all Selichot, not just this period.

It's moreso that the common format of fast day Selichot occuring just prior to or in mid-Tachanun, has already taken care of the need for Ashrei. Your question, of course could be asked in reverse, namely, why aren't the Ellul Selichot said in the middle of Shacharit, instead?

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