4-part series from April 24 - September 25, 2023 A 4-session workshop for settlers and…
Friday Evening March 27, 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.
A SHAUGHNESSY HEIGHTS UNITED CHURCH COMPLINE
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;
Musical suggestion: God Be in My Head: John Rutter
Our Prayer: Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by they great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Keep watch 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
Musical suggestion: Lighten Our Darkness: Alexander L’Estrange
The Psalm: I will praise You, O my Beloved, for You have raised me up, and have not let my fears overwhelm me. O Compassionate One, I cried for help and You comforted me. You, Love, released my soul from despair and restored me to life from among those who live in fear.
[Excerpt from Psalm 30: Psalms for Praying: Nan C. Merrill]
Reflection: Not all silence is the same. There is the awkward silence of the road trip with someone we do not know quite well enough to be silent next to, the refrigerating silence of hardened anger, the reverential silence of dogwoods in winter, the vast silence of a cathedral, the focused silence of absorption in our sewing or a good book. Each features physical silence, the absence of sound waves, but this silence is merely the outer form of other dynamics. In the spiritual life silence is characterized by a powerfully searching and subtle dynamic. If we know how to dwell in physical silence, then silence becomes not a threat but attractive, nurturing, and liberating.
[A Sunlit Absence: Martin Laird]
Musical suggestion: Dum medium silentium tenerent omnia: Wolfram Buchenberg
As this is an 8 minute composition, it is suggested you close your eyes and… simply be.
Translation: While all things were in quiet silence and the night was in the midst of her course, the Almighty Word, O Lord, came down from heaven from thy royal throne. The Lord hath appeared, he is clothed with beauty. He is clothed in strength and majesty.
[Wisdom 18 and Psalm 93]
What Can We Do? Walk into the difficulty, the fear, the change you do not want. Our stories can only move forward if we create a new relationship to the ‘obstacles’ we perceive. What if they are our greatest teachers?
[The Geography of Loss: Patti Digh]
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.
[From the Book of Common Prayer]
O, Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in Your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last.
[John Henry Newman]
Musical suggestion: O Lord, Support Us: David Briggs