Question about antiphons LOTH


Okay, here’s a dumb question- bear with me please. When do we say the Antiphons? Wherever an asterisk (*) appears? Or in between the Psalms (Antiphon, Psalm, Antiphon, Psalm, Antiphon)? And do we make the Sign of the Cross whenever a cross (+) appears? Is it permissible to use any reverent tune for the Hymns?


I was taugh (and I read somewhere) that the antiphons are repeated during the psalms, and also after each verse or spaces in the book you are using. I use the one and the four volume version as published by Catholic Book Publishing. I believe you are also supposed to repeat the antiphon at the end of the psalm, the the Glory Be… There are exceptions, but I think the book will tell you when you are not supposed to say either the antiphon or the Glory Be after a particular psalm. In the version I am using, you may note that there is antiphon 1, 2, etc. That correlates obviously to the first psalm, then the second psalm, etc. Cath. Book Pub makes it convenient so that you don’t have to keep turning the pages back and forth. You will notice that the antiphon that corresponds to the psalm you are reading, if they psalm is long enough to go beyond one page, will also be on that page, it will be labeled as either ant. 1, 2, etc. Hard to explain here, but hopefully you will understand. Anyway, i was always taught that you make the SOTC at the beginning and end of the LOTH session, vespers, lauds, etc. I am not sure what the cross symbol is for. I thought I remembered seeing that somewhere but I just checked my one volume version and didn’t see a symbol anywhere in the text. What version are you using to recite the LOTH? Did you check your volume to see if there are any directions or perhaps on the publisher’s website? I had to do this a few times to make sure I am reciting correctly, but keep in mind a few priests told me over the years that Jesus will not be all that upset if you miss an antiphon or get a few things confused here and there when reciting the LOTH. I know you probably want to be praying in communion with the global church, saying the same prayers each day as all the rest, but I don’t think Jesus will be all that upset with you if you get an antiphon wrong or say a prayer out of place…


Thank you! I was looking at Vespers for Sundays in Fr. Lasance’s My Prayer Book & the instructions were confusing. Thinking about praying the LOTH, but I thought I’d start with Sunday vespers. You made some good points as far as trying to do it the right way w/o stressing over it.


I haven’t heard of that version. I have always used the Catholic Book Publishing version. I have a few older LOTH books, or Breviaries that I keep in a collection. At home I use the 4 volume version and while traveling I use the one volume, mainly because sometimes I travel over the switch from one volume to the next and don’t want to carry two books with me. The LOTH is great. I think I posted somewhere on these forums what I think and feel about the LOTH…You may want to find some local monastery or church that prays the LOTH each day and recite in a communal setting. You will be happy, you will also get some insight as to how other groups, namely the Benedictines recite and get a fuller sense of the LOTH or at least how other groups recite, chant, etc. the LOTH. It is a great prayer each day and I like knowing that I am praying what other Catholics, lay and ordained, are praying around the world…Giving thanks to God/Jesus,




The antiphon is said at the beginning of the psalm. If it is sung, or optionally if it is recited, it is repeated after the Glory be. There is no need to repeat it between strophes unless indicated otherwise.

The exception is for the invitatory. In communal prayer the antiphon is said once by the cantor or celebrant, repeated by the assembly, then repeated between each strophe (the Glory be counts as a strophe) then after the Glory be.

In the psalm, the + marks the “flex”, a break in the first hemistich of the psalm if the verseis too long. In a sung psalm, it is marked by a tone or semi-tone drop from the recitation chord (depending on the psalm tone). It does not mean to cross yourself. The * marks the division between hemistiches of the psalm. Usually when chanting responsorially, there’s a short break at that point.

At the invitatory (either Office of Readings or Morning prayer as the case may be), at the verse “Lord open my lips…” one makes a sign of the cross on one’s lips with one’s thumb. At all other offices, make a sign of the Cross at the opening verse. One may also cross one’s self at the final blessing (monks usually do not).

At the three Gospel canticles (Benedictus at MP, Magnificat at EP and Nunc Dimittis at Night prayer), one crosses one’s self at the opening verse of the canticle.

For octosyllabic hymns in the vernacular, you can use one of the simple Gregorian melodies. However it is also permissible to simply recite the hymn. Or you can use another melody that fits.


Generally speaking, you recite the antiphon first, then the psalm, the Glory to the Father and repeat the antiphon.

And do we make the Sign of the Cross whenever a cross (+) appears? Is it permissible to use any reverent tune for the Hymns?

Don’t know what you’re referring to or what edition of book you’re using but if you’re seeing a * and a dagger, you may have an edition that tells you when to use the flex or mediant tones. You would only use these when chanting the psalms.

The sign of the cross is made at the following points:

At “Lord, open my lips”, made with the thumb on the lips (“small” sign of the cross)

“Large” sign of the cross at the following:
"God, come to my assistance."
The Gospel canticles “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord”, and "Lord, now you let your servant go in peace."
The concluding blessing, “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil,” “May the all powerful Lord grant us a restful night.”

As for the hymns, you can use any tune that fits the given meter or just recite. Do not omit.


Thanks for the info from all- I understand it better now.


You can use any hymn that is appropriate for the occasion.
You dont have to make the sign of the cross at the antiphons.


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