Compline (Contemporary) in Advent

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

Holy God
holy and strong
holy and immortal:
have mercy on us. 

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.

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

Psalm 62 
Refrain: Wait on God alone in stillness o my soul.

1    On God alone my soul in stillness waits;
from him comes my salvation.

2    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.

3    How long will all of you assail me to destroy me,
as you would a tottering wall or a leaning fence?

4    They plot only to thrust me down from my place of honour;
lies are their chief delight;
they bless with their mouth, but in their heart they curse.

5    Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul;
for in him is my hope.

6    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.

7    In God is my strength and my glory;
God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge.

8    Put your trust in him always, my people;
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

9  The peoples are but a breath, the whole human race a deceit;
on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.

10  Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride;
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.

11  God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same,
that power belongs to God.

12  Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord,
for you repay everyone according to their deeds.

Refrain: Wait on God alone in stillness o my soul.

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

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
                                                                                                                                            Isaiah 35

 

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)

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. 

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

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;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
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. 

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

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.
Amen. 

 

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

 

 

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