Help with Liturgy of Hours (again)

Today is the memorial of St. Boniface. I am using the book “Christian Prayer”. In my “St. Joseph’s guide” they told me to use the common of one martyr or pastor and then use page 770. But in the common of one martyr they tell me to use “Psalms and canticle from week I 707” But in the guide they tell me to use the psalms and canticle from saturday 770.

Here is what it looks like.

Sat. St. Boniface, B & M (Mem) 1162
MP (1414 or 1426) 770; DP 1022; EP 641; NP 1034

I chose to use page 1426 in the common of pastors (Morning Prayer) for the reading, gospel canticle, and intercessions, ect… And I chose the psalms and canticle from 770. Was this right? Can someone please enlighten me about this:D?

Thanks all and God bless,:slight_smile:

I pray the LOTH (the 4 volume version, not the Book of Christian Prayer) so I know that this can be very confusing!!
And I even learned from a priest! :stuck_out_tongue:

I believe, and if I am wrong, please someone correct me, that for the most part if you are praying one of the “commons”, such as for martyrs, you use the psalms and the canticle for Sunday of Week 1.

It is also a good possiblity that the “770” citation was a misprint and it should have said
“707”. I have been praying the Hours for a few years now, and I usually find at least one typo in my St. Joseph’ s guide every year.:wink:

Peace be with you on your journey!

My understanding is that the Sunday Week 1 psalms are used for solemnities and feasts and the regular weekly psalms are used for memorials. And I do hope somebody will correct me if my understanding is wrong!


From the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours:

Memorials During Ordinary Time

  1. In the office of readings, at morning prayer, and at evening prayer:

the psalms and their antiphons are taken from the current week and day

, unless there are proper antiphons or proper psalms, which is indicated as the case occurs;
*]the antiphon at the invitatory, the hymn, the short reading, the antiphons at the Canticles of Zechariah and of Mary, and the intercessions must be those of the saint if these are given in the proper; otherwise, they are taken either from the common or from the current week and day;
*]the concluding prayer from the office of the saint is to be said;
*]in the office of readings, the Scripture reading with its responsory is from the current cycle. The second reading is about the saint, with a proper responsory or one taken from the common; if there is no proper reading, the patristic reading for the day is used. The Te Deum is not said.


The Ordinary does say that for memorials (as opposed to solemnities & feasts) they are taken from the current weekday unless there are propers, but –
My 4-volume also refers me to the common of one martyr or of pastors, and both of those refer me to the psalms & canticles for Sunday Week 1.
So, IMHO, you’re fine either way. Although I do hope a future edition of the LOTH may eliminate the confusion.

I was kinda confused by that as well this morning, so I just went with the “regular” psalms from today.

I think the part from the Common referring to Sunday Week 1 (and the inclusion of Psalms for Evening Prayer I/II) is just in case in a certain country/area a memorial (or other) has been elevated to a Feast or Solemnity (like for example, I believe that St. George was a Solemnity in England, but a memorial in Canada and the US). For memorials, Psalms are always taken from the Psalter (which I got wrong the last time I answered this question :blush:), which would be Saturday of Week I today.

NB: The Commons are not Proper (hence the differing names).


The reference to the common would apply after applying the more basic rule that Tee Eff Em referred to above. For memorials, the psalmody is taken from the weekday unless proper. The definition of proper for this purpose is not the “reference” you cite. “Proper” in this case would involve the proper psalms actually being written out or specified exactly in the saint’s proper. An example of a memorial with proper psalmody would be St Martin of Tours (see Vol 4, p. 1554) Here, the saint’s proper does specifically send you to Sunday week 1. The reference at the top of 1552 to the common of pastors would apply only to the parts of the hour that come after the psalmody if there were not the specific direction to Sun Wk 1 on 1554.

No, you’re not fine either way. The reference in the commons is for feasts, solemnities and memorials with proper antiphons. On a memorial without proper antiphons one always uses the psalmody of the day. One needs to read the General Instructions thoroughly, it’s all explained there.

St. Boniface is a feast in the diocese of the same name in Canada but in most other places it is a memorial.

For a memorial:

Hymn: from the commons or of the day (e.g. for St. Bonface, Saturday I), unless there’s a proper hymn, which will be indicated with the saint’s entry in the Propers
Antiphons and psalmody: from the day (Saturday I in this case) unless there are proper psalms and antiphons, as noted above;
Reading: from the commons
Responsory: from the commons
Antiphon for Gospel canticle (Benedictus or Magnificat): from day or commons, unless there’s a proper antiphon indicated with the saint’s entry in the Propers
Intercessions: from the commons
Collect: proper of the saint, found in the saint’s entry in the Propers.

So for a memorial, you would get from the commons: the hymn (unless there’s a proper one), the reading, the responsory, the antiphon for the gospel canticle (unless there’s a proper one), and the intercessions.

You only use the antiphons and psalmody from the commons on feasts or solemnities (but sometimes there are proper antiphons, or proper antiphons or psalms).

In short for most memorials you take the psalmody from the day, and the rest from the commons. For a few, there are proper antiphons used with festive psalms from the commons. It will always be indicated with the saint’s entry in the propers.

Also for memorials, at the little hours (mid-day prayer or Tierce, Sexte and None), everything comes from the day, you don’t take the memorial into consideration (unless you chant the office in Gregorian chant, in which case there’s a different tone for the hymn but with the same words).

Have I confused you yet?:smiley:

So it would be my understanding that the OP and I (since I prayed it exactly as he did) got it right. I have been praying the LOTH for over two years now and I still wonder if I am using the right readings at times. I am not under the obligations as the religious so I pray that God will accept my errors and my prayers as well… teachccd

I just want to correct 2 things: The reading and the responsory can be taken from either the commons or the day.

Yes he chose the right psalms.

While we don’t have the obligations of the religious, and while God does accept our errors (even the religious make them, I have heard Benedictine monks make mistakes such as using the reading from the wrong year, etc, more than once!), there is a certain satisfaction to getting it right, in that you’re attaching your prayer to the universal prayer of the entire Church in a unifying liturgical act.

Thanks I keep forgetting. I’m more used to using the Commons as I pray with Les heures grégoriennes (I chant the Office) and using the readings of the day instead of the commons would require changing volumes. The beauty of Les Heures (in 3 volumes) is that it is very convenient to use, with the minimum possible amount of page flipping (which is still a lot!). Volume III is the sanctoral and everything you need to chant the LOH for the saints is in that volume (Vol. I is Advent, Christmas and Ordinary Time, Vol. II is Lent and Eastertide).

So I guess I make mistakes too on this from time to time :wink:

Monks like to joke that when you finally get the Liturgy of the Hours figured out (even more complex for those who chant the office due to different tones for the same hymns such as Ave Maris Stella depending on whether it’s a memorial, feast or solemnity), you’re ready for solemn profession. :smiley:

I would say that using the option to not change volumes would be the easer one too :slight_smile:

:thumbsup: Absolutely!! And I make every intention to make sure that I am in line with the correct office readings. I just don’t want anyone, mainly myself, getting discouraged if they don’t “get it right” and then quit the prayer all together. I’m pretty confident that I have it down (with the help of books and other aides) but every now and then I get lost and confused. I just want to know that God is ok with that and even though I goofed up the unifying liturgical act I still moved towards God in His Word… God bless and thank you …teachccd :slight_smile:

It will comfort you to know that the monks goofed again today. They used the wrong Gradual, they used the one for years A or B instead of the one for year C.

And this is from a choirmaster who was interim choirmaster at Solesmes for a number of years!

:slight_smile: Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit