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.

Sometimes the words of penitence may be omitted and the service may begin here 

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.
Alleluia !

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. Amen.

The Word of God

Psalm 49
Refrain:  Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all you that dwell in the world,

2 You of low or high degree,
both rich and poor together.

3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.

4 I will incline my ear to a parable;
I will unfold my riddle with the lyre.

5 Why should I fear in evil days,
when the malice of my foes surrounds me,

6 Such as trust in their goods
and glory in the abundance of their riches?

7 For no one can indeed ransom another
or pay to God the price of deliverance.

8 To ransom a soul is too costly;
there is no price one could pay for it,

9 So that they might live for ever,
and never see the grave.

10 For we see that the wise die also; with the foolish and ignorant they perish
and leave their riches to others.

11 Their tomb is their home for ever, their dwelling through all generations,
though they call their lands after their own names.

12 Those who have honour, but lack understanding,
are like the beasts that perish.

13 Such is the way of those who boast in themselves,
the end of those who delight in their own words.

14 Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die; death is their shepherd;
they go down straight to the Pit.

15 Their beauty shall waste away,
and the land of the dead shall be their dwelling.

16 But God shall ransom my soul;
from the grasp of death will he take me.

17 Be not afraid if some grow rich
and the glory of their house increases,

18 For they will carry nothing away when they die,
nor will their glory follow after them.

19 Though they count themselves happy while they live
and praise you for your success,

20 They shall enter the company of their ancestors
who will nevermore see the light.

21 Those who have honour, but lack understanding,
are like the beasts that perish.

Refrain: Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

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

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

  Job 38:4-7

A period of silence for reflection on the reading may follow

Into your hands O Lord I commend my spirit.
Into your hands O Lord I commend my spirit.
For you have redeemed me O Lord of truth.
I commend my spirit.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands O Lord I commend my spirit. 

Gospel Canticle

The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Save us o LORD while waking and guard us while sleeping
that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep 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.

Save us o LORD while waking and guard us while sleeping
that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace. 

Prayers

Intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered here.

Silence may be kept

Let us commend ourselves and all for whom we pray
to the mercy and protection of God.

One or more of the following Collects is said

Be present o merciful God
and protect us through the silent hours of this night
so that we who are wearied by the changes
and chances of this fleeting world
may rest upon your eternal changelessness;
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

As we come to the ending of the day,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

A moment of silence is kept

For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

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 upon us and grant us his peace.
Amen. 

 

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