An order for the office of Compline (Night Prayer)

The office of Compline (Night prayer) comes from an ancient practice of daily prayers by Christian monastic communities. It is a good way to end the day in quiet contemplation and reflection upon the past day before commending oneself to God and a peaceful night’s sleep. The office should be said before going to bed in a quiet and calm way; a candle may be lit and you might like to sing a simple hymn.

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 Opening Prayer

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.

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 Psalm

Psalm 134

  1. Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
    you that by night stand in the house of the Lord.
  2. Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary
    and bless the Lord.
  3. The Lord who made heaven and earth
    give you blessing out of Zion.

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.

The Reading

The servants of the Lamb shall see the face of God, whose name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night: they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 22.4,5

The 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.

The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

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.

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.

Prayers of intercession and thanksgivings may be offered here.

The Collect

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.

The Lord’s Prayer

At the ending of the day,
Let us pray as our Saviour 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.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

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 Conclusion

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.