LOTH Commons


#1

Friends,

On June 1, St. Justin Martyr was commemorated. I went to the Common of One Martyr and, seeing that it has hymns, antiphons, and psalms all laid out, I proceeded to pray everything from the Common. The only reason I went to the Proper of Saints was to read the Second Reading & Responsory for the Office of Readings of St. Justin, and to find the proper Prayer for the day.

So, in Vol. III of the LOTH, I went through this in the Office of Readings...

(Common of One Martyr) Pg. 1707: Hymn, Psalms, Verse, First Reading
(June 1, St. Justin martyr) Pg. 1447: Second Reading, Responsory, Prayer

... only to realize that I was apparently supposed to take the Antiphons & Psalms from the weekday, which was Saturday IV. The only thing the Commons seemed to be used for was finding the verse before the readings in the Office of Readings.

My question is this: what is the point of the large number of antiphons, psalms, and readings in the Commons if we always use the antiphons, psalms, and first readings of the proper weekday? What is the point of the Commons at all, since it just seems to supply us with a single verse, and the rest of the office for the day is elsewhere?

Thanks for the patience... ;)


#2

Are you sure the antiphons and psalms were supposed to come from the weekday? I also use the common for them and never thought anything different. As long as the proper directs you to the common, you should be okay.


#3

[quote="SonCatcher, post:2, topic:328698"]
Are you sure the antiphons and psalms were supposed to come from the weekday? I also use the common for them and never thought anything different.

[/quote]

On the "Divine Office" website, we are instructed to use the Psalms for the Office of Readings from the weekday on which St. Boniface falls, for example:

Psalter: Wednesday, Week I, 744 (antiphons, psalms)
Common of One Martyr: 1711 (verse)
Proper of Seasons: 301 (first reading, responsory)
Proper of Saints: 1455 (second reading, responsory, concluding prayer)

The only reason we have to open the "Commons" here is to find a single verse! None of the Hymns, antiphons, or psalms are used from the Common of One Martyr. My St. Joseph guide to the LOTH says the same thing. This is confusing.

As long as the proper directs you to the common, you should be okay

That sounds like very good advice, but neither the St. Joseph Guide, nor Divine Office, nor Universalis direct me to do those things. I don't know who to "trust". :p


#4

It seems that different publishers organize the LOTH in different ways.

I use the print edition (both the 4 volume and the single volume), which simply states that antiphons and psalms are from the Common. Usually, if there is a reference to the Psalter (either in the Proper or the Common), it is to Sunday, Week I for Morning Prayer, only.

I've only had to use the day of week in conjunction with propers during the various seasons (Advent, Lent, Easter).

I don't use the online DO unless I'm without the print edition. Then, I just use what they're using.


#5

The reason is that St. Justin is a Memorial, which means the Psalms and Canticles with their antiphons are taken from the Weekday. Thus says the Ordinary and the General Instruction (235)

The reason the Common is indicated is because you can take the Invitatory Antiphon, Hymn, short Reading, Gospel Canticle antiphons, and Intercessions from there (or the Weekday as well; your choice - GILH 235b).

Further, the reason there are Psalms and Canticles in the Common is because St. Justin (or any saint) can be elevated to a Feast or Solemnity. For example, in St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church, St. Justin would actually be celebrated as a solemnity in the church itself, in which case, the rules for Solemnities apply, which means, everything is Proper, and what is not in the Proper is taken from the Commons. But if you're observing only the General Roman calendar, then the rules for Memorials apply, which means, psalms and canticles from the weekday.


#6

[quote="Classicist, post:3, topic:328698"]

That sounds like very good advice, but neither the St. Joseph Guide, nor Divine Office, nor Universalis direct me to do those things. I don't know who to "trust". :p

[/quote]

Two things:

  1. Buy an Ordo; and
  2. Read and master the Ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours, in the middle section of your book. Those red instructions are invaluable.

#7

[quote="porthos11, post:6, topic:328698"]
Two things:

  1. Buy an Ordo; and
  2. Read and master the Ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours, in the middle section of your book. Those red instructions are invaluable.

[/quote]

Thank you Porthos. :) I appreciate the patience & kindness.


#8

And also the General Instructions.

Great advice, and you beat me to it on the explanation of why there are festive psalms and antiphons in the Commons.

I would also point out that there are a few memorials that call for the festive psalmody, those who have proper antiphons. An example is Sept. 15, Our Lady of Sorrows. These had previously been feasts pre-Vatican II and kept their traditional antiphons and festive psalms. The big difference is at the Office of Readings (vigils in monasteries) where there is no Te Deum, and the psalms of the day are said. In monasteries the difference between festive and memorial vigils is a big deal: memorials have only two nocturnes and the psalms of the day. Feasts have three nocturnes, Te Deum, gospel proclamation and either a homily or a second patristic reading after the gospel proclamation adding roughly half an hour to Vigils (it’s not for nothing that the prior likes to joke that he has a great dedication to St. Feria).

As for martyrs, there are some martyrs that are feasts and not memorials in the General Roman Calendar, e.g. St. Lawrence on Aug. 10th; this feast would use the festive psalms from the Commons (with the antiphons of the Proper of the saint).


#9

I was so busy checking St. Joseph's Guide, D.O., and Universalis, that I didn't realize the book itself might've helped me!

I'd only used the Ordinary to pray the Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc dimittis so far. :blush: The rubrics just went through one eye and out the other. ;) It's much clearer now.


#10

It would be nice if they included that in either the 1 volume or 4 volume LOTH. I have only an abridged General Instruction, which omits that part. I was rather depending upon the notes in the proper to guide me right.


#11

[quote="SonCatcher, post:10, topic:328698"]
It would be nice if they included that in either the 1 volume or 4 volume LOTH. I have only an abridged General Instruction, which omits that part. I was rather depending upon the notes in the proper to guide me right.

[/quote]

They do include it in both editions. Here's the pertinent rubric from the one-volume Christian Prayer for Morning Prayer.

"For the memorials of saints, the psalms, canticle and antiphons are taken from the current week of the Psalter, unless there are proper psalms and antiphons" (p. 690).

The exact same rubric is printed on page 695 for Evening Prayer.

As has been said before: the Ordinary is your friend.


#12

As for the stuff you take from the Common for a Memorial (all from Christian Prayer):

Invitatory: "For the memorials of saints, the antiphon, unless it is proper, may be taken from either the Commons or the weekday" (p. 688)

Hymn: "Antiphon for the invitatory, hymn, reading, responsory, antiphons for the Benedictus and Magnificat, intercessions: proper, if such are assigned; otherwise, they may be taken from the Commons or the current weekday" (p. 37, "Format of the Offices")

Reading: "For the memorials of saints, the reading, unless it is proper, may be taken from either the Commons or the weekday" (p. 690, 695).

Antiphon for Benedictus and Magnificat: "Antiphon for the invitatory, hymn, reading, responsory, antiphons for the Benedictus and Magnificat, intercessions: proper, if such are assigned; otherwise, they may be taken from the Commons or the current weekday" (p. 37, "Format of the Offices").

Also: "In the celebrations of saints, unless there is a proper antiphon, the antiphon is taken from the Commons" (p. 691, 696).

Intercessions: "For the memorials of saints, the intercessions, unless they are proper, may be taken either from the Commons or the weekday" (p. 692, 697).


#13

Page numbers are different here, but I see it now.


#14

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