Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,
you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.
During these months of pandemic, many of you have remarked about the opportunity to explore different ways of engaging in worship and prayer. As a congregation, the rhythm of Morning Prayer, unfamiliar to some or fondly remembered by others, has grounded us in unsettling times. Some have discovered the pattern of the Daily Offices in our Prayer Book, gathering with family or in online communities. Others have explored different modes, such as Centering Prayer, to heighten awareness of the holy in our midst.
This coming Sunday, January 31st, St. Mary’s will offer another option, rooted in the patterns of prayer Christians receive from the monastic traditions. A sung service of Compline will be offered at 6:30PM, via Zoom and YouTube. It will also be archived on YouTube, with all other live-streamed services, for later viewing.
About Compline, the Church of England’s Common Worship says this in an introduction -
The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. It is most effective when the ending is indeed an ending, without additions, conversation or noise. If the service is in church, those present depart in silence; if at home, they go quietly to bed.
As we will gather at an early evening hour, I won’t suggest that you immediately go to bed at the conclusion of the service. I do, however, suggest you set aside some time and space in your evening for silence and solitude, to draw the busyness of another day to its conclusion, and to invite a fuller awareness of God’s presence in your life.
I hope you’ll join us in prayer on Sunday, or watch later in the evening as you bring your day to a close. Wherever you are - light a candle, take a few deep breaths, give thanks for all that the day has held, and bask in the abundant love of God as these ancient words are sung.