Compline 2020: The Third Sunday of Advent

Archived Compline Service, broadcast on December 13, 2020

Due to current health restrictions, only two members of the choir – a solo singer and a reader – will be praying the office of Compline at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, at 9:30 p.m. Sunday evenings, beginning on November 29, 2020. This will continue until further notice – for the latest information, visit complinechoir.org.

The service broadcasts on KING-FM (king.org) will be archived recordings of the whole choir from previous years, appropriate to the liturgical season.

This post, for The Third Sunday of Advent, is an archived recording of Compline from December 15, 2019 — Jason Anderson, director • Josh Sandoz, reader • James Wilcox, cantor

Live Broadcast  (The live broadcast has ended; listen to the Podcast!).

Podcast                (link to the podcast on complinepodcast.org)

Compline for The Third Sunday of Advent

The READER offers a short passage of scripture:

Be patient therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. See, a judge is standing at the door. – [James 5: 7a, 8b, 9b]

ORISON: Redeemer of the nations, come (Tune:Veni Redemptor gentium) – Plainsong, Mode I, Einsiedeln MS., 12th cent.

Redeemer of the nations, come;
reveal yourself in virgin birth,
the birth which ages all adore,
a wondrous birth, befitting God.

From human will you do not spring,
but from the Spirit of our God;
O Word of God, come; take our flesh
and grow as child in Mary’s womb.

With God the Father you are one,
and one with us in human flesh.
Oh, fill our weak and dying frame
with godly strength which never fails.

All praise, O unbegotten God,
all praise to you, eternal Word,
all praise, lifegiving Spirit, praise,
all glory to our God Triune.

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.

READER: Our help is in the name of the Lord
CHOIR: who hath made heaven and earth.

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 146:4-9 – Plainsong, Tone IV.2

Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the LORD their God;

Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps his promise for ever;

Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

The LORD loves the righteous;
the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.

The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah!

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:

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  [Matthew 11:28-30]

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: Love divine, all loves excelling (Tune: Hyfrydol) – Rowland Hugh Prichard (1811-1887); harm. Hymnal 1982

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heav’n to earth come down:
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown:
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter ev’ry trembling heart.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be:
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
’til in heav’n we take our place,
’til we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

The following is chanted:

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

NUNC DIMITTIS: Richard Proulx (1937-2010)

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: Come, O Lord, and visit us in peace; that we may rejoice with a perfect heart.

Lord, you have fulfilled your word;
now let your servant depart in peace.

With my own eyes I have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of ev’ry people.

A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

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 confess our sins, confident in God’s mercy.

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:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake.

—and/or—

Look down, O Lord from thy heavenly throne, illuminate the darkness of this night with thy celestial brightness, and from the sons of light banish the deeds of darkness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

CHOIR: Amen.

The READER announces the anthem to be sung. 

ANTHEM: Veni, Domine, noli tardare – William Byrd (c. 1539/1540-1623)

Come, O Lord, and do not delay. Forgive the misdeeds of your servants, and set your people free.

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.

READER: We have waited in silence on thy loving kindness, O God,
CHOIR: In the midst of thy Temple.

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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