Compline (Traditional) 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. 

[Brethren,] be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
whom resist, steadfast in the faith.
1 Peter 5.8,9

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Thanks be to God.

Our help is in the name of the Lord
who hath 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

We confess to God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,
through our own grievous fault.
Wherefore we pray God to have mercy upon us.

Almighty God, have mercy upon us, forgive us all our sins
and deliver us from all evil, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and bring us to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. 

A priest may say

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon and remission of all your sins, time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

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

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

The following or another suitable hymn may be sung

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world we pray,
That with thy wonted favour thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
From nightly fears and fantasies;
Tread underfoot our ghostly foe,
That no pollution we may know.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

The Word of God

Psalm 134

1 Behold now, praise the Lord :
all ye servants of the Lord;

2 Ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord :
even in the courts of the house of our God.

3 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary :
and praise the Lord.

4 The Lord that made heaven and earth :
give thee blessing out of Sion.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Scripture Reading

Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name;
leave us not, O Lord our God.
Jeremiah 14.9

Thanks be to God. 

A period of silence for reflection on the reading may follow.

The following responsory may be said

Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

For thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

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 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.

2 For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation;

3 Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;

4 To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Luke 2.29-32

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  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

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

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

Blessed art thou, Lord God of our fathers:
to be praised and glorified above all for ever.

Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost:
let us praise him and magnify him for ever.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven:
to be praised and glorified above all for ever.

The almighty and most merciful Lord guard us and give us his blessing.
Amen. 

Let us pray.

One or more of the following Collects is said

Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, this place, and drive from it all the snares of the enemy;
let thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace;
and may thy blessing be upon us evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord;
and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

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 repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

A moment of silence may follow

The Conclusion

We will lay us down in peace and take our rest.
For it is thou, Lord, only that makest us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, O Lord,
for it is toward evening and the day is far spent.

As the watchmen look for the morning,
so do we look for thee, O Christ.

The Lord be with you
and with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,
bless us and preserve us.
Amen.

 

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