Compline 2020: All Saints’ Day

All Saints picture by Fra Angelico (1420s).

“The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs (1420s)” by Fra Angelico (Wikipedia, “All Saints,” public domain)

Currently 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 the Seattle Times article, “On Capitol Hill, A Choir Carries On Through the Pandemic”. Health procedures are described in complinechoir.org.

Since mid-March 2020, the Compline Underground posts each week texts of the music sung so that you might connect deeper to the live broadcast or podcast (link to either automatically opens in another tab in your browser).

Live Broadcast   (The live broadcast has concluded).

Podcast                (link to the podcast on complinepodcast.org)

Compline for All Saints’ Day

[On All Saints’ Day, the READER reads the NECROLOGY of Compline Choir members who have died since the founding of the choir in 1956 – this in lieu of the usual BIDDING WORDS.]

ORISON: Holy is the true light – William H. Harris (1883-1973)

Holy is the true light, and passing wonderful,
lending radience to them that endured in heat of the conflict:
from Christ they inherit a home of unfading spendour,
wherein they rejoice with gladness evermore.
Alleluia, Alleluia.

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 34:1-10, 22 – Plainsong, Tone V.2

I will bless the LORD at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

I will glory in the LORD; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.

Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD; *
let us exalt his Name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.

Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.

I called in my affliction and the LORD heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.

The angel of the LORD encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; *
happy are they who trust in him!

Fear the LORD, you that are his saints, *
for those who fear him lack nothing.

The young lions lack and suffer hunger, *
but those who seek the LORD lack nothing that is good.

The LORD ransoms the life of his servants, *
and none will be punished who trust in him.

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 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: Who are these like stars appearing? (Tune: Zeuch mich, zeuch mich) – melody from Geistreiches Gesang-buch, 1698;
harm. William Henry Monk (1823-1889), alt.

Who are these like stars appearing,
these before God’s throne who stand?
Each a golden crown is wearing;
who are all this glorious band?
Alleluia! Hark, they sing,
praising loud their heav’nly King.

Who are these of dazzling brightness,
these in God’s own truth arrayed,
clad in robes of purest whiteness,
robes whose lustre ne’er shall fade,
ne’er be touched by time’s rude hand?
Whence come all this glorious band?

These are they who have contended
for their Savior’s honor long,
wrestling on ’til life was ended,
foll’wing not the sinful throng;
these, who well the fight sustained,
triumph by the Lamb have gained.

These are they whose hearts were riven,
sore with woe and anguish tried,
who in pray’r full oft have striven
with the God they glorified;
now, their painful conflict o’er,
God has bid them weep no more.

These, like priests, have watched and waited,
off’ring up to Christ their will;
soul and body consecrated,
day and night to serve him still:
now in God’s most holy place
blest they stand before his face.

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 setting, Tone VII.1

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: O quam gloriosum – Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548-1611)

Anthem text translation:

O how glorious is the kingdom wherein all the Saints rejoice with Christ!
Clothed in white robes they follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

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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