Why is 'Evening Prayer I' Listed in the 'Commons' in the Liturgy of the Hours


I understand that when praying the Liturgy of the Hours, one must recite Evening Prayer I on the evening preceding a Sunday or a Solemnity. Evening Prayer II is prayed on Sunday night or on the night of a solemnity.

However, the commons (e.g. Common of Doctors) include Evening Prayer I. Why is this? Does this mean that on the night before a Feast ranked memorial for a Doctor of the Church, one must pray Evening Prayer I from the Common of Doctors (e.g. the evening before the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas, must Evening Prayer be taken from Evening Prayer I in the Common of Doctors)? Thus, my question is as follows:

Aside from Sundays and Solemnities, are there any other times where one must pray ‘Evening Prayer I’ the night before the feast that is being celebrated?

Thank you in advance for your help, and God Bless.

No. However, some celebrations of Saints are ranked as solemnities in particular (i.e. local) calendars. Besides this, have a look at the table of precedence of liturgical days in the front of your breviary. Certain celebrations are treated as solemnities - e.g.
the anniversary of the dedication of a particular church, the title of a particular church, the founder of an order or congregation. Obviously these don’t apply everywhere even within the same diocese.


As an example of this, last year I was hanging out with my priest friends at the rectory of a nearby parish, named St Thomas Aquinas. It happened to be his feast day. Had I been anywhere else, even two or three miles up the road across the parish boundaries, the day would’ve been a Memorial, and I could either use the entire office of the weekday with the propers of St Thomas appended to it, or I could’ve done the Psalms of the weekday with the reading taken from the Common of Doctors, the Benedictus/Magnificat Antiphon taken from the proper of the day, and the intercessions taken from the Common of Pastors (Common of Doctors has no intercessions of its own). Either of those is allowed by the rubrics for a Memorial.

But since I happened to be staying at the rectory of the parish of St Thomas, I had to do the full office from the Common of Doctors, which really is the Common of Pastors + those things which occur in the Common of Doctors. It was a mix, really, and involved a ton of page turning. I almost drove up the road so it would be a Memorial again…



Thank you Father @edward_george1 and Father @InThePew.

So, Evening Prayer I in the Commons exists when a memorial of a saint is celebrated as a solemnity in a certain area.

My parish has the churches of St Teresa and St Thomas More.

Does this mean that for the memorials of both of these saints, I treat them as solemnities and pray Evening Prayer I from the appropriate Commons the night before?

Or would I only celebrate as a solemnity the memorial of St Teresa (as that is the church I attend)?

Thank you for your time - you are both much appreciated on the forum.

God Bless.

It depends on which territory you’re in. When you say your parish has both of those churches, am I to assume that one is the parish, and the other is the mission, and they’re both staffed by the same priest? If that’s the case, each will have its own territory. It doesn’t matter which one you attend, it’s where you’re located on the feast day. In my above example, I wasn’t assigned to St Thomas, but I was in the territory when the feast day came up.


In New Zealand, parishes can have many churches in them.

Another one I attend has three in three different towns - there’s been an amalgamation process in the last decade or so to cut costs etc.

Sometimes, all of the churches in one parish have their own priests and rectory.

I don’t believe that each Church has it’s own territory - only the parish does.

Perhaps I should just celebrate as a solemnity the memorial of the Saint of the church I am closest too in the parish?

Thank you for your help, Father!

Evening Prayer I in the Commons are typically used only in Religious Orders, in select nations/dioceses, or in Churches named after that Saint.

For example, St. John of the Cross is a Doctor of the Church. He’s also co-founder of the Discalced Carmelites.

So in the Discalced Carmelite order, they celebrate his feast day as a Solemnity every year. So for the Discalced Carmelites, they would celebrate his feast day with Evening Prayer I.

Many religious orders have their own additions or changes to the calendar.

Also many (not all) countries & dioceses have a patron/patroness whom are celebrated as a Solemnity. For example, the feast day of Australian St. Mary of the Cross (Mary Helen MacKillop, RSJ) is celebrated as a Solemnity in Australia. So the Evening Prayer I from the Common of Virgins is used for her there.

Finally, the Liturgy of the Hours was written in a way that it can accommodate new Saints and/or when Saints are “promoted” from Memorial to Feast or Solemnity.

  • For example, there is a new St. Teresa of Calcutta parish in our diocese. She was Canonized only in 2016. However, that parish can (if they want) celebrate the vigil of her feast day as a Solemnity with Evening Prayer I.

I hope this helps. God Bless


Feast days always complicate things!

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If you attend St Teresa use that one.
Admittedly, I don’t have that problem - one my parishes is under the patronage of the Holy Family and the other the Sacred Heart!

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