Compline 2020: The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Now Cheer Our HeartsCurrently the Office of Compline at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, is sung by the director and three others in an empty cathedral. Those singing are observing very stringent procedures – for more information see complinechoir.org. Beginning in mid-March 2020, the Compline Underground posts texts of the music sung to accompany the live broadcast or podcast.

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Compline for The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The READER offers a short passage of scripture:

ORISON: Now cheer our hearts this eventide (Tune: Ach bleib bei uns) – Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig, 1589; harm. J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Now cheer our hearts this eventide,
Lord Jesus Christ, and with us bide;
Thou that canst never set in night,
Our heavenly sun, our glorious Light.

May we and all who bear Thy name
By gentle love Thy cross proclaim,
Thy gift of peace on earth secure,
And for Thy Truth the world endure.

PREPARATION

READER: The Lord Almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

CHOIR: Amen.

READER: Belovéd in Christ, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith. [I Peter 5: 8, 9a]

READER: But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
CHOIR: Thanks be to God.

The following is chanted.

CANTOR: O God, make speed to save us;
CHOIR: O Lord, make haste to help us.

CANTOR: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
CHOIR: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

CANTOR: Praise ye the Lord;
CHOIR: The Lord’s name be praiséd.

The READER announces the Psalm to be sung. The appointed psalms for Compline are Psalm 4 (Cum invocarem), Psalm 31:1-6 (In te, Domine, speravi), Psalm 91 (Qui habitat), and Psalm 134 (Ecce nunc). Other psalms may be used as appropriate to the church year. Many of the psalm settings sung in the service have been composed by Peter Hallock or Jason Anderson.

PSALM 103 – Plainsong, Tone VIII.5

Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and forget not all his benefits.

He forgives all your sins *
and heals all your infirmities;

He redeems your life from the grave *
and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;

He satisfies you with good things, *
and your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.

The LORD executes righteousness *
and judgment for all who are oppressed.

He made his ways known to Moses *
and his works to the children of Israel.

The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.

He will not always accuse us, *
nor will he keep his anger for ever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, *
so far has he removed our sins from us.

As a father cares for his children, *
so does the LORD care for those who fear him.

For he himself knows whereof we are made; *
he remembers that we are but dust.

Our days are like the grass; *
we flourish like a flower of the field;

When the wind goes over it, it is gone, *
and its place shall know it no more.

But the merciful goodness of the LORD endures for ever
on those who fear him, *
and his righteousness on children’s children;

On those who keep his covenant *
and remember his commandments and do them.

The LORD has set his throne in heaven, *
and his kingship has dominion over all.

Bless the LORD, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding, *
and hearken to the voice of his word.

Bless the LORD, all you his hosts, *
you ministers of his who do his will.

Bless the LORD, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion; *
bless the LORD, O my soul.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. *
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The READER speaks the following lesson:

Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy Name.
Leave us not, O Lord our God.  [from Jeremiah 14:9]

CHOIR: Thanks be to God.

The following Respond is chanted:

CANTOR: Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
CHOIR: Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

CANTOR: For thou hast redeeméd me, O Lord, thou God of truth;
CHOIR: I commend my spirit.

CANTOR: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
CHOIR: Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

The READER announces the hymn to be sung. The hymn appointed for Compline is Te lucis ante terminum (Before the ending of the day). Other hymns may be sung as appropriate to the church year.

HYMN: In your mercy, Lord, you called me (Tune: Halton Holgate) – William Boyce (1711-1779)

In your mercy, Lord, you called me, taught my sin-filled heart and mind,
else this world had still enthralled me, and to glory kept me blind.

Lord, I did not freely choose you till by grace you set me free;
for my heart would still refuse you had your love not chosen me.

Now my heart sets none above you, for your grace alone I thirst,
knowing well, that if I love you, you, O Lord, have loved me first.

The following is chanted:

CANTOR: Keep me as the apple of an eye;
CHOIR: Hide me under the shadow of thy wings.

NUNC DIMITTIS (Plainsong, Tone III.6)

A setting of the Nunc dimittis (from Luke 2:29-32, with Gloria Patri) is sung. The text may be from the King James version or from one of several modern translations. An antiphon precedes and follows it:

ANTIPHON: Preserve us, * O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and a-sleep we may rest in peace.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: * according to thy word;
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, * which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles: * and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

The Apostles Creed is intoned by the choir. The Assembly rises.

CANTOR: I believe in God,
CHOIR: the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

CANTOR: Lord, have mercy upon us.
CHOIR: Christ, have mercy upon us.
CANTOR: Lord, have mercy upon us.

The Lord’s Prayer and the following versicles and responses are intoned:

CANTOR: Our Father,
CHOIR: who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

CANTOR: Blessed art thou, Lord God of our fathers;
CHOIR: To be praised and glorified above all for ever.

CANTOR: Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;
CHOIR: Let us praise and magnify him for ever.

CANTOR: Blessed art thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven;
CHOIR: To be praised and glorified above all for ever.

CANTOR: The Almighty and most merciful Lord guard us and give us his blessing.
CHOIR: Amen.

The Confession and Absolution are spoken:

READER: Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.
CHOIR: We confess to God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, through our own grievous fault. Wherefore we pray God to have mercy upon us.

CHOIR: Almighty God, have mercy upon us, forgive us all our sins and deliver us from all evil, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and bring us to life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

READER: May the almighty and merciful Lord grant unto us pardon and remission of all our sins, time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
CHOIR: Amen.

The following versicles and responses are chanted:

CANTOR: Wilt thou not turn again and quicken us;
CHOIR: That thy people may rejoice in thee?

CANTOR: O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us;
CHOIR: And grant us thy salvation.

CANTOR: Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this night without sin;
CHOIR: O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.

CANTOR: O Lord, hear our prayer;
CHOIR: And let our cry come unto thee.

CANTOR: Let us pray.

At least three but not more than five prayers (or collects) are intoned by the CANTOR. The first collect is proper to the day. Other collects offered address the needs and concerns of the choir, or local or global community. The final collect is chosen from the following:

Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, this place, and drive from it all the snares of the enemy;
let thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace; and may thy blessing be upon us
evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—or—

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in
quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray
thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHOIR: Amen.

The READER announces the anthem to be sung. 

ANTHEM: Be unto me, O Lord, a tower — William Byrd (c. 1540/1543-1623)

Be unto me, O Lord, a tower of strength against my mortal foe.

O guard and ward me with thy power which way soever I shall go.

Then shall my heart and soul rejoice in God my Lord with cheerful voice.

—Sir William Leighton’s Teares and Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule (1614)

FINAL RESPONSES and BLESSING

The CHOIR sings the final versicles and responses, using a setting composed by Peter Hallock in 1956, the year of the Compline Choir’s founding:

CANTOR: We will lay us down in peace and take our rest:
CHOIR: For it is thou, Lord, only that makest us to dwell in safety.

CANTOR: The Lord be with you:
CHOIR: And with thy spirit.

CANTOR: Let us bless the Lord:
CHOIR: Thanks be to God.

The closing blessing is spoken:

READER: The Almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, bless and preserve us.
CHOIR: Amen.

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