Common of Pastors - advice needed re LOTH/Divine Office instruction

Hello all. I am in Ireland, and tomorrow, 3rd November 2020, is the Feast of St Malachy for the diocese I am in (Armagh, Down & Connor).

The Divine Office instruction only states, “From the Common of Pastors”. This seems clear enough, so I turned to the common and found that for Lauds I should use the Psalms and Canticle of Sunday week 1. Antiphons are given, and I know to use those instead of the antiphons in the psalter for Sunday week 1. The instructions for the rest of the hour run as normal, with the reading, responsory, Benedictus antiphon, intercessions and concluding prayer all detailed in the Common of Pastors. All of this seems clear to me.

However, as I am fairly new to reciting the hours, I like to check against the Universalis app to make sure I am on the right track. The app uses the Psalter for Lauds tomorrow, giving the order for Tuesday of week 31 in Ordinary Time. I have the settings arranged so that it uses the commons where necessary, and indeed the concluding prayer mentions St Malachy, but the rest of the hour is laid out as per Ordinary Time.

My question is (and thank you for reading this far!), am I right that I should be using the Common of Pastors for the Feast day, or is there an instruction I have missed somewhere? I have been poring over the General Instructions and can find nothing to contradict this. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

It depends on the rank of St. Malachy in your diocese.

If St. Malachy is a Memorial, then you take the Psalms and Antiphons from the Weekday, closing prayer from the Common, and everything else you have a choice of taking from the Common or Weekday.

If the day is a Feast, then you take everything from the Common for Lauds and Vespers, and Compline from the Weekday.

If the day is a Solemnity, then you say it as you would on Feasts (everything from the Common) for Lauds and Vespers, plus you say Vespers I from the Common the evening before, and Compline from Sunday.


I don’t know the rank in Ireland for this feast, but some memorials have proper antiphons for the psalms, and for those Lauds and Vespers are treated as a feast: psalms from Sunday week 1 at Lauds and from the Common at Vespers, with the proper antiphons.

An upcoming example is the memorial of St. Martin on Nov. 11. It’s a memorial on the General Roman Calendar but has proper antiphons (it’s a feast on the monastic calendar).

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Thank you, this is really helpful. It is a Feast in the diocese, so I will take everything from the commons.

I will re-read the general instructions, as I didn’t know that this information could be gleaned from there, I spent a few hours this evening trying to work it out.

Thank you. It’s a Feast, rather than a memorial, but this is useful information.

Just to update, Lauds was fine this morning, no problems following the Common of Pastors as instructed.

Prayer During the Day (None) was a different matter, the Common of Pastors shows a single antiphon and a reading with response. I had no idea if I should use that single antiphon at the start and end of the three psalms from the weekday, or use the antiphons given in the weekday for them. The antiphon from the Common seemed completely unrelated to the daily psalms, but as it has been included in the Common for prayer at that time of day, I was sure I should be using it.

This will keep me busy for a while I think, it’s been difficult to find anything specific about Prayer During the Day on a Feast day and the General Instructions are quite opaque on the subject. Something for me to dwell on and investigate further.

For feasts, unless otherwise specified in the propers, the antiphon and psalms of the weekday are used, with the readings and verse from the proper or common, and the collect of the saint.

For solemnities, one uses the single antiphon of the
proper or common for all three psalms. The Gradual psalms are used at solemnities unless the solemnity falls on a Sunday, when Ps. 117(118) is used.

It sounds complicated but it’s all explained in the General Instruction and the rubrics.

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The penny has dropped. I read what you wrote and looked through the instructions, specifically “How the office is arranged on Solemnities/Feasts/Memorias of Saints” (225 - 239 in the General Instructions of the Divine Office).

This now seems clear, thank you for taking the time to respond, your answer was very useful to me.

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