An Order for Night Prayer (Compline)

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. 


Preparation

 

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

All  Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord

All  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

 

All    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.

All    O Lord, make haste to help us.

All    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 said or 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.

The Word of God
Psalmody

One or more of Psalms 4, 91 and 134 may be used daily.
Or Sundays Psalm 104:1, 21-33, Monday Psalm 86, Tuesday Psalm 143, Wednesday Psalm 31:1-5, 19-end, Thursday Psalm 16, Friday Psalm 139:1-18, Saturday Psalm 91

Scripture Reading

One of the following short lessons or another suitable passage

Sunday: You, O Lord, are in the midst of us and we are called by your name; leave us not, O Lord our God.  (Jeremiah 14.9)

 

Monday: Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

 

Tuesday: Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

Wednesday: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:6,7)

 

Thursday: 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)

 

Friday: God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. (1 Thess 5:9,10)

 

Saturday: A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his.  Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.  (Hebrews 4:9-11a)

 

The following responsory may be said

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.

All  I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye.

All  Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle: The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

 

All  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.

All  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.

All  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
Time for your own prayers of thanksgiving and intercession

 

Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven

The Conclusion

In peace we will lie down and sleep;

All  for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,

All  for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,

All  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.

All  Amen.

Common Worship: Daily Prayer is © Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England.  Used by permission.