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 and 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 119.17-32

Refrain: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.

17 O do good to your servant that I may live,
and so shall I keep your word.

18 Open my eyes, that I may see
the wonders of your law.

19 I am a stranger upon earth;
hide not your commandments from me.

20 My soul is consumed at all times
with fervent longing for your judgements. R

21 You have rebuked the arrogant;
cursed are those who stray from your commandments.

22 Turn from me shame and rebuke,
for I have kept your testimonies.

23 Rulers also sit and speak against me,
but your servant meditates on your statutes.

24 For your testimonies are my delight;
they are my faithful counsellors. R

25 My soul cleaves to the dust;
O give me life according to your word.

26 I have acknowledged my ways and you have answered me;
O teach me your statutes.

27 Make me understand the way of your commandments,
and so shall I meditate on your wondrous works.

28 My soul melts away in tears of sorrow;
raise me up according to your word. R

29 Take from me the way of falsehood;
be gracious to me through your law.

30 I have chosen the way of truth
and your judgements have I laid before me.

31 I hold fast to your testimonies;
O Lord, let me not be put to shame.

32 I will run the way of your commandments,
when you have set my heart at liberty.

Refrain: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.

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

‘Whom will he teach knowledge, and yo whom will he explain the message ?’

                                                                                                                                    Isaiah 28.9 

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

O Lord from whom all good things come:
grant to us your humble servants
that by your holy inspiration we may think those things that are good
and by your merciful guiding may perform the same.
Amen. 

Look down o God from your heavenly throne
illuminate the darkness of this night with your celestial brightness
and from the children of light banish the deeds of darkness.
Amen. 

Keep watch dear Lord
with those who wake, or watch, or weep this night
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, give rest to the weary,
sustain the dying, calm the suffering,
have compassion on the distressed;
in your love.
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 this day, let us pray

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 turn his face upon us and give us 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