Compline 2020: The Last Sunday after Pentecost

Peter Hallock - his niche in the Compline Corner

Peter R. Hallock, founder of the Compline Choir – his niche in the “Compline Corner.”

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 The Last Sunday after Pentecost

The READER offers a short passage of scripture:

[November 22, 2020] – We boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. – [Romans 5:3b-5]

ORISON: The head that once was crowned with thorns (Tune: Saint Magnus) – Melody from Divine Companion, 1707; harm. William Henry Monk (1823-1889)

The head that once was crowned with thorns
is crowned with glory now;
a royal diadem adorns
the mighty Victor’s brow.

The highest place that heav’n affords
is his, is his by right,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
and heav’n’s eternal Light:

The joy of all who dwell above,
the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love,
and grants his Name to know.

The cross he bore is life and health,
though shame and death to him;
his people’s hope, his people’s wealth,
their everlasting theme.

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 95 – Plainsong, Tone IV.4

Come, let us sing to the LORD; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the LORD our Maker.

For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

Harden not your hearts,
as your forebears did in the wilderness, *
at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
when they tempted me.

They put me to the test, *
though they had seen my works.

Forty years long I detested that generation and said, *
“This people are wayward in their hearts;
they do not know my ways.”

So I swore in my wrath, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

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 596: Judge eternal, throned in splendor (Tune: Komm, o komm, du Geist) – Melody from Neu-vermehrtes und zu Ubung Christl. Gottseligkeit Meiningisches Gesangbuch, 1693

Judge Eternal, throned in splendor,
Lord of lords and King of kings,
with thy living fire of judgment
purge this land of bitter things;
solace all its wide dominion
with the healing of thy wings.

Still the weary folk are pining
for the hour that brings release,
and the city’s crowded clangor
cries aloud for sin to cease,
and the homesteads and the woodlands
plead in silence for their peace.

Crown, O God, thine own endeavor;
cleave our darkness with thy sword;
feed all those who do not know thee
with the richness of thy word;
cleanse the body of this nation
through the glory of the Lord.

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: Ave Rex noster – Giovanni Matteo Asola (c. 1524-1609)

[Anthem translation:]
Hail, our King; thou alone art merciful to our errors.

Obedient to the Father, thou wert led to be crucified as a lamb led to the death.

To thee be glory, Hosanna:
To thee triumph and victory:

To thee the highest praises and the crown of honor.

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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