The office of Compline is the final Office of the day in the Canonical Hours. Compline has ancient roots (ca. 400 A.D.), and has been a cherished liturgy since. As the final service before bed, the entire liturgy has an overriding spiritually meditative ethos to it.
In its incarnation at the Redeemer, this equisit liturgy is sung by a small schola of singers drawn from the Parish Choir, and the church is bathed in light from hundreds of candles. The schola process in silence, into the candlelit church and commence chanting the Office from the chapel. No words are spoken. All prayers, readings and othe rparts of the liturgy are sung by a cantor, with short, mostly Tudor, choral anthems woven throughout the service. The congregation does not recieve any kind of order of service at this liturgy, instead, they are invited to pray and meditate through the prayers and supplications offered by the choir.
There is no electric light, no spoken word, no communion, no sermon, no organ music, only the chanting of a few voices and the flicker of hundreds of candles. This unique worship experience is both an exercies in gathering to worship with the Body and being alone with God concurrently. The service lasts all of 30 minutes, and is, absolutely, the perfect way to end an evening.
An Order for Compline may be found in the Book of Common Prayer on page 127.
Compline is sung annually on the Wednesday before Holy Week, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Click here to listen to a previous version of Compline.