Question Regarding Liturgy of the Hours

I am just starting to pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily, I believe I understand most of it, but I do have a couple questions.

  1. What is the difference between Evening Prayer I and II?

  2. Why is Evening Prayer I listed BEFORE Morning Prayer?

  3. When is Evening Prayer I supposed to be said?

  4. Are the two interchangeable?

Thank you in advance for your help, I really enjoy using the Liturgy of the Hours to pray, I just want to do it correctly.


The liturgical day runs from midnight to midnight, but each Sunday and Solemnity (major celebration) begins on the evening of the day before with Evening Prayer I (First Vespers) then Evening Prayer II (Second Vespers) is celebrated on the evening of the day itself.

[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Invitatory - before first hour
Morning Prayer (Lauds) - sunrise
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Daytime Prayer (Terce, Sext, None) - may do only one
[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS]Evening Prayer (Vespers)
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Night Prayer (Compline) before bed
Invitatory - before first hour
Morning Prayer (Lauds) - sunrise
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Daytime Prayer (Terce, Sext, None) - may do only one
[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS]Evening Prayer I (First Vespers)
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Night Prayer (Compline) before bed
[/FONT]Invitatory - before first hour
Morning Prayer[/FONT] (Lauds) - sunrise
Daytime Prayer (Terce, Sext, None) - may do only one
Evening Prayer II (Second Vespers) - late afternoon, or sunset
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Night Prayer (Compline) before bed
Freetime: Office of Readings

Thank you very much for your quick response, it makes sense now, and I noticed the Evening Prayer I and II are only for Sundays as well now that you pointed it out, so thank you very much again, I appreciate it! Like I said I just want to make sure I’m doing it right :slight_smile:

Actually Evening Prayer I also applies to solemnities during the week and to feasts of the Lord that fall on a Sunday (they will have proper antiphons and festive psalms, different from a normal Sunday).

Also, Evening Prayer I explains why we can also attend Mass on Saturday evening.

At the end of Evening Prayer for today (Feb. 7th) for example, it simply says, “Conclusion as in the Ordinary,”. Is the conclusion, “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life,” the Ordinary conclusion for private recitation? Or am I missing something…?

This is correct. If you are praying individually, Morning and Evening Prayers always conclude this way.

Thanks again for the quick response. I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it. If anything else comes up, I’ll post again, but I’m good for now.

Thank you very much!

God Bless,

Just ask with a specific question and we’ll do our best to assist.

Traditionally the liturgical day started at the previous evening, and the Church prayed the First Vespers (Evening prayer I) in that evening, the second Vespers (Evening prayer II) of the evening of the feast itself. There was many collision of the evening prayers, it was called concurrence, and the rules were quite complicated.

Recently only solemnities (e.g. Christmas, Assumption, Immaculate Conception) and Sundays have Evening prayer I on the previous evening; and on that day the Evening prayer two is omitted (I am not sure, in the good old times it was commemorated).

All other days have only Evening Prayer II, on the same day

Welcome to the LoH, Paul. You will find it a great blessing.

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