Order of service

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The ancient office of Compline derives its name from the Latin word ‘completorium’ meaning ‘completion’. Compline is, above all, a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. Silence is an integral part of this service and so it is paced slowly and deliberately to give everyone space to reflect and ponder. The music at this service comprises ancient plainchant and is sung unaccompanied.


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.

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. 

Hymn

Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting light,
O Jesu, Saviour of us all,
Regard thy servants when they call.

Thou grieving at the bitter cry
Of all creation doomed to die,
Didst come to save a ruined race
With healing gifts of heavenly grace.

Thou camest, Bridegroom of the bride,
As drew the world to evening-tide,
Proceeding from a virgin shrine,
The Son of Man, yet Lord divine.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
Whose advent sets thy people free,
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Spirit blest, for evermore.
Amen.

The Word of God

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness;
you set me at liberty when I was in trouble;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you nobles dishonour my glory;
how long will you love vain things and seek after falsehood?   

But know that the Lord has shown me his marvellous kindness;
when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

Stand in awe and sin not;
commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness
and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many that say, ‘Who will show us any good?’
Lord, lift up the light of your counten – ance upon us.

You have put gladness in my heart,
more than when their corn and wine and oil increase.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for it is you Lord, only, who make me dwell in safety.

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

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in the faith.

1 Peter 5: 8,9

Responsory

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.

Keep me as the apple of your eye.

Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle

The Nunc Dimittis (The Song of Simeon) is sung.

Save us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ
and asleep may rest in peace.

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of ev’ry people;

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

Watchful at all times,
let us pray for strength to stand with confidence
before our Maker and Redeemer.
That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy,
let us pray to the Lord:

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

That God may establish among the nations
his sceptre of righteousness,
let us pray to the Lord: 

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

That we may seek Christ in the scriptures
and recognise him in the breaking of the bread,
let us pray to the Lord: 

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

That God may bind up the brokenhearted,
restore the sick
and raise up all who have fallen,
let us pray to the Lord. 

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

That the light of God’s coming may dawn
on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death,
let us pray to the Lord: 

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

That, with all the saints in light,
we may shine forth as lights for the world,
let us pray to the lord: 

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge,
to the mercy and protection of God.

The Collect

Silence may be kept.

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.
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 on us and give us peace.

Amen.


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