Before donning the tallit one should check the tzitzit to see that they are still kosher (except when this examination would prevent one from praying with the congregation). While checking the tzitzit, one recites the following verses:

Transliteration:

Bar-chi Naf-shi Et Ado-nai, Ado-nai E-lo-hai Ga-dal-ta M’od, Hod V’ha-dar La-vash-ta. O-teh Ohr Ka-sal-mah, No-teh Sha-ma-yim Ka-ye-ri-ah.

Translation:

My soul, bless the Lord! Lord my G‑d, You are greatly exalted; You have garbed Yourself with majesty and splendor. You enwrap [Yourself] with light as with a garment; You spread the heaven as a curtain.1

Before donning the tallit, one recites the blessing:

Transliteration:

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam A-sher Ki-de-sha-nu B’mitz-vo-tav V’tzi-va-nu L’hit-a-teif Be-Tzi-tzit.

Translation:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to enwrap ourselves in Tzitzit.

After the blessing one covers the head with the Tallit and dons it (for a short while) in the fashion of Arab garbs by taking the two ends of the right side and swinging them over the left shoulder to the back. While standing garbed thus, one recites the following verses:

Transliteration:

Ma Ya-kar Chas-de-cha E-lo-him, U-v’nei A-dam B’tzeil K’na-fe-cha Ye-che-sa-yun. Yir-v’yun Mi-de-shen Bei-te-cha, V’na-chal A-da-ne-cha Tash-keim. Ki Im-cha M’kor Cha-yim, B’ohr-cha Nir-eh Ohr. M’shoch Chas-d’cha L'yod-echa V’tzid-kat-cha L’yish-rei Leiv.

Translation:

How precious is Your kindness, O G‑d! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They shall be satiated with the delight of Your House, and You will give them to drink from the river of Your bliss. For with You is the source of life; in Your light we see light. Bestow Your kindness upon those who know You, and Your righteousness on the upright in heart. 2