KEEPING THE NIGHT PRAYERS
TOGETHER WITH COMPLINE
Streamed Live every Evening at 8 pm
During this pandemic time, one of the unexpected blessings of our separation has been the implementation of offering the night prayers on a daily basis (at 8 p.m.). “An Order for Compline” comes to the Prayer Book tradition from the monasteries; and as the word “compline” indicates, these are the prayers that “complete” the day: “May the Almighty God grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end”. [opening sentences of Compline, Book of Common Prayer, page 127.].
There are at least two gifts that have unexpectedly emerged for us in this Compline experience. One is that in a new way we have begun to register the important rhythms of daily prayer. Again from the monastic example, daily prayer occurs at regular intervals of the day itself. Looking at the center that is God-in-Christ from the perspective of the morning, noon, evening, and at night, we find ourselves in the Holy One’s presence amidst the wonderous and challenging details and changes of each day.
The other unexpected gift of entering into the rhythm and routine of the daily prayers is that such a discipline is meant as something all of us do and, more specifically, the leadership of these prayers rightly falls to the laity. (Remember our baptismal vows, to continue “in the prayers” [BCP., page 304.]. In this fashion, St. Philip’s not only offers the night prayers daily; the leadership of Compline is almost exclusively handled by the members of the parish. And it is wonderful to see the blossoming confidence that each of our lay officiants conveys, as they take responsibility for guiding us in these prayers.
And if you would like to learn how to lead the night prayers, please contact Deacon Jason or The Rev. Michael and we will be delighted to add you to the list of helpful officiants.