Is there any ranking of the Commons for the saints in the Liturgy of the Hours? For example, today is the optional memorial of St. Albert the Great, using either the Commons of Pastors, or the Commons of Doctors of the Church. Is there any mechanism to help me decide which one to pray?
I usually take into account what saint it is, and what preceding saints there have been, so as to avoid reading “Remember your leaders , etc., etc.” every other day. Since Doctors don’t come up very often, I tend to use that if there is the opportunity. Last week, when we had a slew of Pastors with Ss. Leo, Martin and Josaphat, I decided to use Martyrs instead. for the last, and Doctors for the first.
Since I chant the Office and am fundamentally lazy, I chose whichever one has the easiest hymns…
For Memorials I use whichever Common is least used just to keep some variety. For Optional Memorials, like Saint Albert, I use any material proper to the Saint, but use the material from the weekday rather than anything from the Commons where there is nothing proper to the saint.
The General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours is silent on this point:
- In the office of readings, at morning prayer, and at evening prayer:
a. 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;
b. 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;
Therefore, I usually do what others have suggested and pray from the least used Common.