Compline (Contemporary) in Easter 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.

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.

Eastertide Doxology
All praise be yours, o risen Lord
From death to endless life restored;
Who, with the Father, we adore
And Holy Spirit evermore. Amen.

The Word of God

Psalm 104.1-10, 11-25, 26-37

1    Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness!

2    You are clothed with majesty and honour,
wrapped in light as in a garment.

3    You spread out the heavens like a curtain
and lay the beams of your dwelling place in the waters above.

4    You make the clouds your chariot
and ride on the wings of the wind.

5    You make the winds your messengers
and flames of fire your servants.

6    You laid the foundations of the earth,
that it never should move at any time.

7    You covered it with the deep like a garment;
the waters stood high above the hills.

8    At your rebuke they fled;
at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.

   They rose up to the hills and flowed down to the valleys beneath,
to the place which you had appointed for them.

10  You have set them their bounds that they should not pass,
nor turn again to cover the earth.

11  You send the springs into the brooks,
which run among the hills.

12  They give drink to every beast of the field,
and the wild asses quench their thirst.

13  Beside them the birds of the air make their nests
and sing among the branches.

14  You water the hills from your dwelling on high;
the earth is filled with the fruit of your works.

15  You make grass to grow for the cattle
and plants to meet our needs,

16  Bringing forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden our hearts,

17  Oil to give us a cheerful countenance
and bread to strengthen our hearts.

18  The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
the cedars of Lebanon which he planted,

19  In which the birds build their nests,
while the fir trees are a dwelling for the stork.

20  The mountains are a refuge for the wild goats
and the stony cliffs for the conies.

21  You appointed the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows the time for its setting.

22  You make darkness that it may be night,
in which all the beasts of the forest creep forth.

23  The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.

24  The sun rises and they are gone
to lay themselves down in their dens.

25  People go forth to their work
and to their labour until the evening.

26  O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

27  There is the sea, spread far and wide,
and there move creatures beyond number, both small and great.

28  There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan
which you have made to play in the deep.

29  All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.

30  When you give it them, they gather it;
you open your hand and they are filled with good.

31  When you hide your face they are troubled;
when you take away their breath, they die and return again to the dust.

32  When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

33  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works;

34  He looks on the earth and it trembles;
he touches the mountains and they smoke.

35  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will make music to my God while I have my being.

36  So shall my song please him
while I rejoice in the Lord.

37  Let sinners be consumed out of the earth and the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, 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

Hear the commandments of life, o Israel;
give ear and learn wisdom !
Learn where there is wisdom
where there is strength
where there is understanding
so that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days
and life
where there is light for the eyes
and peace.

                                                                                                                                    Baruch3.9, 14

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. Alleluia ! Alleluia !
For you have redeemed me o Lord of truth.
Alleluia ! Alleluia !
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands o Lord I commend my spirit. Alleluia ! Alleluia !

Gospel Canticle

The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Alleluia ! The Lord is risen, Alleluia !
as he promised to you. Alleluia ! Alleluia !

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.

Alleluia ! The Lord is risen, Alleluia !
as he promised to you. Alleluia ! Alleluia !


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

Almighty God
whose Son is the resurrection and the life:
raise us who trust in him
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness
that we may seek those things which are above
where he reigns with you.

Almighty God
by triumphing over the powers of darkness
Christ has prepared a place for us in the new Jerusalem:
may we who have this day given thanks for his resurrection
praise him in the eternal city of which he is the light.

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 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.

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.

May the risen Lord Jesus watch over us and renew us
as he renews the whole of creation.
May our hearts and lives echo his love.

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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