Compline (Contemporary) in Ordinary Time

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 134

1    Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,  
you that by night stand in the house of the Lord.

2    Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary  
and bless the Lord.

3    The Lord who made heaven and earth  
give you blessing out of Zion.

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

You, O Lord, are in the midst of us and we are called by your name;
leave us not, O Lord our God.

  Jeremiah 14.9

A period of silence for reflection on the reading may follow

Gospel Canticle

The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Preserve us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

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.

Preserve us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Prayers

Intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered here.

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

Visit this place, O Lord, we pray,
and drive far from it the snares of the enemy;
may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace,
and may your blessing be always upon us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Almighty God, by triumphing over the powers of darkness
Christ has prepared a place for us in the new Jerusalem:
may we, who have this day given thanks for his resurrection,
praise him in the eternal city of which he is the light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Lighten our darkness, Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
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.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;
the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us;
the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace.
Amen.

© The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2000-2005
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