Compline (Contemporary) in Creation 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.

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 45
Refrain:   Behold our defender o God and look upon the face of your anointed. 

1 My heart is astir with gracious words;
as I make my song for the king, my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

2 You are the fairest of men;
full of grace are your lips, for God has blest you for ever.

3 Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one;
gird on your majesty and glory.

4 Ride on and prosper in the cause of truth
and for the sake of humility and righteousness.

5 Your right hand will teach you terrible things;
your arrows will be sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies,
so that peoples fall beneath you.

6 Your throne is God’s throne, for ever;
the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of righteousness.

7 You love righteousness and hate iniquity;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

8 All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia;
from ivory palaces the music of strings makes you glad.

9 Kings’ daughters are among your honourable women;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

10 Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear;
forget your own people and your father’s house.

11 So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty;
he is your lord, so do him honour.

12 The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts;
the richest of the people shall seek your favour.

13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within;
her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.

14 She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework;
after her the virgins that are her companions.

15 With joy and gladness shall they be brought
and enter into the palace of the king.

16 ‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons,
whom you shall make princes over all the land.

17 ‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations;
therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’

Refrain: Behold our defender o God and look upon the face of your anointed.    

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

Who is wise and understanding among you ? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

  James3:13

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

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. 

Merciful God
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things
may obtain your promises
which exceed all that we can desire.
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 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