Compline (Contemporary) in Advent Season

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.


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

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.

Advent Doxology 

To you, o Christ, all glory be
Whose advent sets your people free;
Whom, with the Father, we adore
And Holy Spirit, evermore. Amen.

The Word of God

Some verses from Psalm 105 – v1-6 //  v7-15 //  v37-45

1    O give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples.

2    Sing to him, sing praises,
and tell of all his marvellous works.

3    Rejoice in the praise of his holy name;
let the hearts of them rejoice who seek the Lord.

4    Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his face continually.

5    Remember the marvels he has done,
his wonders and the judgements of his mouth,

6    O seed of Abraham his servant,
O children of Jacob his chosen.


7    He is the Lord our God;
his judgements are in all the earth.

8    He has always been mindful of his covenant,
the promise that he made for a thousand generations:

9    The covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath that he swore to Isaac,

10  Which he established as a statute for Jacob,
an everlasting covenant for Israel,

11  Saying, ‘To you will I give the land of Canaan
to be the portion of your inheritance.’

12  When they were but few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in the land,

13  Wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,

14  He suffered no one to do them wrong
and rebuked even kings for their sake,

15  Saying, ‘Touch not my anointed
and do my prophets no harm.’


37  He brought them out with silver and gold;
there was not one among their tribes that stumbled.

38  Egypt was glad at their departing,
for a dread of them had fallen upon them.

39  He spread out a cloud for a covering
and a fire to light up the night.

40  They asked and he brought them quails;
he satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

41  He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out  
and ran in the dry places like a river.

42  For he remembered his holy word
and Abraham, his servant.

43  So he brought forth his people with joy,
his chosen ones with singing.

44  He gave them the lands of the nations
and they took possession of the fruit of their toil,

45  That they might keep his statutes
and faithfully observe his laws.


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

Watch, therefore – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning – lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.

                                                                                                                                      Mark 13.35-37

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 Lord God 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)

Come, o Lord
and visit us in peace;
let us rejoice before you with a perfect heart.

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.

Come, o Lord
and visit us in peace;
let us rejoice before you with a perfect heart.


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

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

Stir up your power, o God, and come among us.
Heal our wounds, calm our fears and grant us your peace;
through Jesus our Redeemer.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Restore us again, o God of hosts.
Show us the light of your countenance and we shall be saved.
Bless and keep us, this night and always.

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





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