Question on the Liturgy of the Hours

According to the General instructions:

" Memorials During Privileged Seasons

  1. On Sundays, solemnities, and feasts, on Ash Wednesday, during Holy Week, and during the octave of Easter, memorials that happen to fall on these days are disregarded.

  2. On the weekdays from 17 to 24 December, during the octave of Christmas, and on the weekdays of Lent, no obligatory memorials are celebrated, even in particular calendars. When any happen to fall during Lent in a given year, they are treated as optional memorials.

  3. During privileged seasons, if it is desired to celebrate the office of a saint on a day assigned to his or her memorial:

a. in the office of readings, after the patristic reading (with its responsory) from the Proper of Seasons, a proper reading about the saint (with its responsory) may follow, with the concluding prayer of the saint;

b. at morning prayer and evening prayer, the ending of the concluding prayer may be omitted and the saint’s antiphon (from the proper or common) and prayer may be added."


How does this exactly work? What is a “privileged season?”


It’s pretty much as you described it. Privileged seasons are:

Weekdays in Advent from the 17th to 24th December
Octave of Christmas
All of Lent.

On these days the memorial can be celebrated optionally in the ways described in the text you quoted. An obligatory memorial that falls in Lent in a given year, is then treated as an optional memorial. Of course since it becomes optional, then it isn’t necessary to celebrate it at all.

On On Sundays, solemnities, and feasts, on Ash Wednesday, during Holy Week, and during the octave of Easter, memorials, obligatory or otherwise, that happen to fall on these days are disregarded, that is there is no option to celebrate any memorial that falls on those days.

My understanding is that the privileged seasons are the ones listed in #238. Although I would never dream of bumping the office of the day for Dec 17-24 for a memorial, I often bump weekdays in Lent (second reading for Office of Readings) for memorials when praying the office.

I use the St. Joseph Liturgy of the Hours Guide to help me know what Psalms, readings, etc., to use on any given day.

God bless you!


Actually Dec 17-24 it is not, in fact, possible to bump. The memorial is celebrated after the full Office of the day has been celebrated (for MP and EP), by adding the gospel canticle antiphon of the proper or common of the saint and the collect of the saint. Nothing is omitted from the office of the day.

At the OOR, one may add the hagiographic reading of the saint after the patristic reading and its responsory, followed by the collect of the saint.

Moreover when celebrating the memorial of the saint in a privileged season, it is not required to do so at all of the OOR, MP or EP. It is possible to just select one of those offices to remember the saint.

Thanks so much for the clarification! This is exactly why I use the St Joseph’s Guide – without it I would be completely lost :blush:


It’s been said that a monk is ready for solemn profession when he’s finally figured out the Liturgy of the Hours.

It takes years to reach solemn profession :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m kinda fond of the Proper of Seasons, so during privileged seasons I never observe memorials.

When I was in the monastery, it all seemed pretty straight forward and easy – except for having to switch between books sometimes.

But after nearly 25 years away from the monastery, it’s St. Joseph’s Guide for me :thumbsup:


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