The month of Elul is the month of preparing for the High Holidays (Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur). During this month so-called Seliḥotare recited. The word Seliḥot means supplications, and they consist of prayers, confessions, the recalling of God’s mercy, and pleas for forgiveness.
While Ashkenazim start reciting Seliḥot during the last week of Elul, Sephardi Jews recite Morning Seliḥotduring the entire month of Elul (which is the last month before Rosh haShana) as well as between Rosh haShana and Kippur, before morning service. In addition, Western Sephardim (alone) have a unique custom to also say Evening Seliḥot; a shorter version of Seliḥot recited after evening services.
A final important remark: Seliḥot are never said on Shabbat or on Rosh Ḥodesh (New Moon).
The Morning Seliḥothave many of the same elements but with some beautiful additions. Here below is the introduction to the Morning Seliḥot:
The Morning Seliḥot service ends with the following poem: