Compline (Contemporary)

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all  a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. It is most effective when the ending is indeed an ending, without additions, conversation or noise. If there is an address, or business to be done, it should come first. If the service is in church, those present depart in silence; if at home, they go quietly to bed.

Preparation

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

The following or other suitable words of penitence may be used

Most merciful God, we confess to you,
before the whole company of heaven and one another,
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit
and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

The following or another suitable hymn may be sung

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That you, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep

From evil dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Tread underfoot our deadly foe
That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;
And Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Our souls are raised to life from death.

The Word of God

Psalm 16
Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

1 Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge; ♦
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord, all my good depends on you.’

2 All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, ♦
upon those who are noble in heart.

3 Though the idols are legion that many run after, ♦
their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, ♦
neither make mention of their names upon my lips.

4 The Lord himself is my portion and my cup; ♦
in your hands alone is my fortune.

5 My share has fallen in a fair land; ♦
indeed, I have a goodly heritage. R

6 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, ♦
and in the night watches he instructs my heart.

7 I have set the Lord always before me; ♦
he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

8 Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; ♦
my flesh also shall rest secure.

9 For you will not abandon my soul to Death, ♦
nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.

10 You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the fullness of joy ♦
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. R

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.

  Titus 2.11

A period of silence for reflection on the reading may follow

Gospel Canticle

The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Alleluia. Christ the light of the world, alleluia, has manifest his glory.
Alleluia, alleluia.

1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  
your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  
and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Alleluia. Christ the light of the world, alleluia, has manifest his glory.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Prayers

Intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered here.

One or more of the following Collects is said
Silence may be kept

King of kings and Lord of lords, making the true light to shine: lighten our darkness now and evermore that with our lips and in our lives we may praise you; for you are our God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer may be said.

A moment of silence may follow

The Conclusion

In peace we will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,
for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,
so do we look for you, O Christ.

May the living waters of Christ cleanse us, may the Spirit descend upon us, and the blessing of God be with us this night and always.

the people blow out their candles and log off in silence……. 

 

 

© The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2000-2005
Official Common Worship apps, books and eBooks are available from Church House Publishing