Trust in Him

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Compline



I will go into the Liturgy of the Hours in more detail later... but before retiring for the night I would like to leave you with an explanation of what Compline means to me. Here is Compline for Sunday:

Psalm 90 (91)
The protection of the Most High
He will shade you with his wings; you will not fear the terror of the night.
He who lives under the protection of the Most High
dwells under the shade of the Almighty.
He will say to the Lord:
“You are my shelter and my strength,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will free you from the hunter’s snare,
from the voice of the slanderer.
He will shade you with his wings,
you will hide underneath his wings.
His faithfulness will be your armour and your shield.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day;
nor the plague that walks in the shadows,
nor the death that lays waste at noon.
A thousand will fall at your side,
at your right hand ten thousand will fall,
but you it will never come near.
You will look with your eyes
and see the reward of sinners.
For the Lord is your shelter and refuge;
you have made the Most High your dwelling-place.
Evil will not reach you,
harm cannot approach your tent;
for he has set his angels to guard you
and keep you safe in all your ways.
They will carry you in their arms
in case you hurt your foot on a stone.
You walk on the viper and cobra,
you will tread on the lion and the serpent.
Because he clung to me, I shall free him:
I shall lift him up because he knows my name.
He will call upon me and for my part, I will hear him:
I am with him in his time of trouble.
I shall rescue him and lead him to glory.
I shall fill him with length of days
and show him my salvation.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Ant. He will shade you with his wings; you will not fear the terror of the night.

Reading Apocalypse 22:4-5
They will see the face of the Lord, and his name will be marked on their foreheads. There will be no more night: they will not need sunlight or lamp-light, because the Lord God himself will shine upon them. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Short Responsory
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
– Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed us, Lord, God of faithfulness.
– Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
– Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Canticle Nunc Dimittis
Guide us as we stay awake. Watch over us, as we sleep. That awake we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep rest in His peace.

Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
Your Word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
the glory of your people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Guide us as we stay awake. Watch over us, as we sleep. That awake we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep rest in His peace.

Let us pray.
Today we have celebrated the mystery of the Christ’s resurrection, and so now we humbly ask you, Lord, that we may rest in your peace, far from all harm, and rise rejoicing and giving praise to you.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
Amen.

Now, Compline and Lauds are my favorite hours of the Office. Why? Because Lauds brings joy for a new day and Compline brings peace for a new night. This is a prayer of gentle trust and holy resignation. It is a prayer of hope and beauty. But most of all, this is a prayer that brings peace.

The Gospel Antiphon (Guide us Lord, as we stay awake...) is my favorite of all. It summarizes the purpose of our lives... to keep watch with Christ while we are awake and sleep in His peace when we must rest. To chant these lovely words is to me as a mother's lullaby is to her child... it brings me great peace and comforts all confusion in my mind and in my heart. It helps me realize that my troubles are nothing and He will always care for me. It eliminates worry from my mind.

After this beautiful prayer we sing a song to the Blessed Virgin... bringing her motherly love down upon us to watch over us through the night. It is that time when, in monasteries, the great silence begins. No one speaks, and God communes with the soul in silence and in peace. When I enter the monastery I think I will wonder how I ever managed to sleep outside its doors...




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