Compline 2020: The First Sunday after Christmas

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.

Archived Compline for 12-27-2020

Archived Compline Service (12-30-2018)

This post, for The First Sunday after Christmas, is an archived recording of Compline from December 30, 2018 — Jason Anderson, director • Jeffrey Ricco, reader • Joel Bevington, cantor

Live Broadcast  (The live broadcast has ended)

Podcast                (link to the podcast on complinepodcast.org)

Compline for The First Sunday after Christmas

PROCESSIONAL: Once in royal David’s city (Tune: Irby) – melody Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876); harm. Arthur Henry Mann (1850-1929)

Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall:
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

We, like Mary, rest confounded
that a stable should display
heaven’s Word, the world’s creator,
cradled there on Christmas Day,
yet this child, our Lord and brother,
brought us love for one another.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above:
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
where his saints his throne surround:
Christ, revealed to faithful eye,
set at God’s right hand on high.

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 147 – Peter R. Hallock (1924-2014)

Hallelujah!

How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!

The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.

He counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.

Great is our LORD and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.

The LORD lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.

He covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;

He makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.

He provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.

He is not impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;

But the LORD has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.

Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;

For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.

He has established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.

He sends out his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.

He gives snow like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?

He sends forth his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

He declares his word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.

He has not done so to any other nation; *
to them he has not revealed his judgments.

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.

Hallelujah!

The READER speaks the following lesson:

The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  [John 1:14, 16]

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: It came upon the midnight clear (Tune: Noel) – English melody; adapt. Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)

1It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
from heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heavenly music floats
o’er all the weary world;
above its sad and lowly plains,
they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o’er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the heavenly hymn have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and warring humankind hears not
the tidings which they bring;
O hush the noise and cease your strife
and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world give back the song
which now the angels sing.

The following is chanted:

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

NUNC DIMITTIS (Tune: Marilyn) – Peter R. Hallock

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 asleep we may rest in peace.

Lord, let your servant part in peace, your word is now fulfilled.
These eyes have seen salvation’s dawn, this child so long foretold.

This is the Saviour of us all, the Gentiles’ promised Light,
God’s glory dwelling in our midst, the joy of Israel.

All glory to the Father be, All glory to the Son,
All glory, Holy Ghost to thee, while endless ages run.

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: Christ, the Light of the World, has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In his light, let us confess our sins:

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. 

ANTHEMS:

Lullay my liking – Peter R. Hallock

I saw a fair maiden sitten and sing she lulled a little child, a sweete Lording.

[REFRAIN]
Lullay my liking, my dear son, my sweeting;
Lullay my dear heart, mine own dear darling!

That eternal Lord is he that made alle thing; of alle lordes he is Lord, of alle kinges King.

Angels bright they sang that night and saiden to that child:
“Blest be thou, and so be she that is both meek and mild.”

— [15th cent. English carol]

Born on a New Day – John David (b. 1946); arr. Peter Knight (1917-1985)

Meekness, love, humility, come down to us this day:
Christ, your birth has proved to me you are the new day.
Quiet in a stall you lie. Angels watching in the sky
Whisper to you from on high: “You are the new day.”

When our life is darkest night, hope has burned away,
Love, your ray of guiding light, show us the new day.
Love of all things great and small, leavening none, embracing all.
Fold around me where I fall, bring in the new day.

This new day will be a turning point for everyone,
If we let the Christ-child in, and reach for the new day.
Christ the Way, the Truth, the Life, healing sadness, ending strife.
You we welcome, Lord of Life. Born on a new day, you are the new day.

— [original words by John David; new words by Philip Lawson]

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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