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Friday April 3rd Compline

Friday Evening April 3, 2020 

You are invited to share this service with others. We ask that anyone using this document, outside of our own SHUC community, to please acknowledge that this is the work of Shaughnessy Heights United Church, Vancouver, Canada.

*Please note that in order to hear the music you must click on the blue name of the piece you wish to hear*

Compline, also known as Night Prayer or the Prayers at the End of the Day, is a service of the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church. Derived from the Latin word completorium, Compline prayerfully acknowledges the completion of the working day and is often said just before retiring for the night. 

As a way for our Shaughnessy Faith Community to gather again (albeit via technology) and to acknowledge the end of yet another challenging, at times overwhelming, week, we invite you to set aside some time this evening. Take a moment to catch your breath. Settle yourself into a comfortable chair, pour a cup of tea, light a candle, and allow yourself to take a little time to refresh and heal the soul. Follow the short service below, take time to click on the YouTube links for the music suggestions (again, ads are unfortunately unavoidable), and give yourself up to quiet meditation and reflection. And even though we are doing this as individuals, we are also doing this as a faith community, connecting ourselves to each other in prayer and intention. 


Our Request for Presence: God be in my head and in my understanding; God be in mine eyes and in my looking; God be in my mouth and in my speaking; God be in mine heart and in my thinking; 

New musical suggestion: God Be in My Head: Walford Davies 

Our Prayer: Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love’s sake. Amen

[From the Book of Common Prayer] 

The Psalm: Give praise to the Beloved, O heavenly hosts, Sing of Love’s glory and strength. Exalt the glory of Love’s Name, adore the Beloved in holy splendor. 

The voice of the Beloved is upon the waters; Love’s voice echoes over the oceans and seas. The voice of Love is powerful, majestic is the voice of Love. 

The voice of the Beloved breaks the bonds of oppression, Shatters the chains of injustice. Love invites all to the dance of freedom, to sing the Beloved’s song of truth. 

The voice of Love strikes with fire upon hearts of stone. The voice of Love uproots the thorns of fear, Love uproots fear in every open heart. 

The voice of Love is heard in every storm, and strips the ego bare; And in their hearts all cry, “Glory!” 

The Beloved lives in our hearts; Love dwells with us forever. May Love give strength to all people. May Love bless all nations with peace.

[Psalm 29 from Psalms for Praying: Nan C. Merrill] 

Musical suggestion: O Love: Elaine Hagenberg

Reflection: Let me begin with a familiar image: a candle. In its outer, sensible form a candle is an object consisting of tallow and wick. But the real secret of the candle reveals itself only when the match is struck and the candle begins to burn. It gives of the materials of its outer form in order to release the heat and fragrance within. Only then do we see what a candle really is: its outer life is tallow and wick; its inner life is flame. We are talking here about transformation, of course, a kind of sacred alchemy. And it is precisely this alchemy that defines our essential human task. The secret of our identity does not lie in the outer form or in how successfully we manipulate the outer forms of the sensible world. Rather, it lies in how we are able to set them (and ourselves) aflame to reveal the inner quality of their aliveness. The names of God lie coiled within the physical forms of things; our particular and uniquely human task is to the spring the trap and set them free…That is our job. Working within the raw materials of the physical world, we are to give “birthing” and ”body” to the names of God so that the invisible becomes visible. We are midwives of the Spirit. Hence, we are not here to build nests. The birds can do that. Rather, we are here to take our nest and make of them homes, vibrant with the qualities of kindness, order, and stability. We are not here to amass hoards. The ants can do that. Rather, we are here to take those stockpiles and release them into the energy of generosity and compassion. We are not here to live forever but to live well, releasing to the atmosphere courage, dignity and trust. 

[The Wisdom way of Knowing: Cynthia Bourgeault] 

Musical Reflection: The Sun Never Says: Dan Forrest

Translation: Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky. 

[Hafiz, trans. Daniel Ladinsky] 

What Can We Do? Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart. 

[The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho] 

A Closing Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, you have brought me in safety to the end of this week: Preserve me with your strength and in your love, that I may not stray away from you, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose. Amen.

[Paraphrased from The Divine Hours: Phyllis Tickle] 

Musical suggestion is an ancient Latin hymn sung at Compline: Te lucis ante terminum (To Thee before the Close of Day): Thomas Tallis

*Please note: Click on SHOW MORE for lyrics and English translation 


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