|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 and acknowledge the end of another challenging week, either because of social distancing and isolation or because of worrisome work conditions, 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 refresh and nourish your soul. Follow the short service below, listen to the music suggestions via the Youtube links (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.
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
SHAUGHNESSY HEIGHTS UNITED CHURCH
PRAYERS AT THE CLOSE OF DAY
Friday, May 29, 2020
There is sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.
– Washington Irving
God, take our sacred tears and transform them into something beautiful.
Have I not wept for him who was in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
But when I looked for good, evil came to me;
And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest;
Days of affliction confront me.
I go about mourning, but not in the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.
My harp is turned to grieving,
And my flute to the voice of those who weep.
Job 30: 25-28; 31
Versa est in luctum: Tomás Luis de Victoria
My harp is turned to grieving
and my flute to the voice of those who weep.
Spare me, O Lord,
for my days are as nothing.
God, protect me from hopelessness,
prepare me for courage,
and push me to love.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Die mit Tränen säen, werden mit Freuden ernten: Heinrich Schütz
Those who sow with tears will reap with joy.
They go out and weep and carry seeds to sow,
and return with joy, carrying their sheaves with them.
Prayer for Good Friday
Which isn’t good at all. One of the great misnomers of all time. It’s bleak, haunted, immensely sad. It rivets and ravages me every year as I sit hidden behind a post-beam in the balcony of the chapel, where no one can see me weeping at the poor lonely broken Yeshua, betrayed by His best friends, beaten by the sneering cops, blood dripping into His eyes, grilled by a police chief who couldn’t care less about justice and mercy and wants only to evade blame for a matter he considers minor at best. Yet it wasn’t minor at all, and somehow it turns on that harrowing day long ago. A mysterious young man from a country village, causing an epic political and civil ruckus in the city. A murderous mob, angry religious Brahmins, potential colonial unrest that will not look good at headquarters. Gnomic answers by the calm young man when interrogated. Poor Peter bitterly berating himself for his cowardice, and which one of us would have done better? The apostles frightened, the sound of hammers nailing the young man to a cross, the lowering darkness, the murmurs of fear through the city as the sun is blotted out. Veronica’s veils and Simon’s shoulders; did his compassion surge and make him step forth, or was he shoved into legend by a soldier? The gaunt young man sagging toward death; His quiet blessing of a thief; His last words to His mother; one last desperate cry; He thirsts, He prays, He dies. And in the chapel not another word, not another sound; and soon we exit silently, and go our ways…for once with a cheerful chaff for friends and handshakes all round; and no matter how bright the rest of the day, how brilliant the late afternoon, how redolent the new flowers, how wild the sunset over the river, you shiver a little; not just for Him, but for all of us, His children, face to face today with despair. And so silently home to pray for light emerging miraculously where it seemed all was dark.
A Book of Uncommon Prayer: Brian Doyle
Vide homo (from Lagrime de San Pietro): Orlando de Lassus
See, O humanity, what things I endure for you;
To you I cry, I who am dying for you;
See the pains with which I am afflicted;
See the nails with which I am pierced.
There is no suffering like unto that with which I am tormented.
And though the outward suffering be so great,
Yet is the inward suffering heavier still,
When I find you to be so distanced from me.
What Can We Do?
Life is fragile – handle with prayer.
A Closing 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.
Augustine of Hippo | Book of Common Prayer
Rain, Come Down: Shawn Kirchner
Please note: The lyrics are provided on the Youtube link. Click “Show More” and scroll beyond the list of singers.
Come, rain, come down,
heaven’s tears of mercy,
come a-runnin’ down.
Say no words, it is too soon,
but wrap your quiet arms around,
hide us in your cloud.
Come wash away this grief and pain,
and let all hearts be clean.
And bring the fairest flowers to meet
the sorrows we have seen.
A little lower than the angels we were born to be,
yet which of all the creatures knows this misery?
Come rain, come down,
heaven’s tears of mercy,
come a-runnin’ down.