Compline 2021: The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after Ascension Day

Paris Missal Ascension

Paris Missal, 15th century (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

A small vocal ensemble drawn from members of The Compline Choir at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, presents the Office of Compline live via video livestream and audio broadcast on Classical 98.1 KING-FM. Singers will remain masked and distanced, fully compliant with current guidance. The Compline Choir is a ministry of the Diocese of Olympia and of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. The Compline service is offered every Sunday night at 9:30 PM Pacific Time.

Video livestream feeds:
Livestream at complinechoir.org
Livestream at The Compline Choir Facebook page
Livestream at saintmarks.org
Livestream at St. Mark’s Cathedral Facebook page

Video livestream archive:
(link to the livestream archive on saintmarks.org after the service)

Audio stream feeds:
Live broadcast on KING-FM (Sundays at 9:30 pm PDT)
(link to the podcast on complinepodcast.org when uploaded)

Compline for The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after Ascension Day

READER: Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” After Jesus had said this, as the apostles were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. — [adapt. Acts 1:8, 9]

ORISON: God is ascended (Tune: Gen Himmel aufgefahren ist) – German, 16th cent.; arr. Peter R. Hallock (1924–2014)

God is ascended up on high, Alleluia, alleluia!
with merry noise of trumpet’s sound, Alleluia, alleluia!

And princely seated in the sky, Alleluia, alleluia!
he rules o’er all the world around. Alleluia, alleluia!

In human shape and flesh he went, Alleluia, alleluia!
his passion’s scars he did present. Alleluia, alleluia!

Lord, raise our fallen souls therefore, Alleluia, alleluia!
and purify us evermore. Alleluia, alleluia!

PREPARATION

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

READER: Beloved 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 68:1-20 – Peter R. Hallock (1924-2014)

[ANTIPHON:] Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord.

Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate him flee before him.

Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them also be merry and joyful.

Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;
exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!

Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
God in his holy habitation!

God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.

O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,

The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.

Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.

The Lord gave the word; *
great was the company of women who bore the tidings:

“Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *
the women at home are dividing the spoils.”

Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *
you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver,
whose feathers are like green gold.

When the Almighty scattered kings, *
it was like snow falling in Zalmon.

O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *
O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!

Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain,
at the hill which God chose for his resting place? *
truly, the LORD will dwell there for ever.

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; *
the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.

You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
you have received gifts even from your enemies, *
that the LORD God might dwell among them.

Blessed be the Lord day by day, *
the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.

He is our God, the God of our salvation; *
God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.

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.

[ANTIPHON:] Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord.

The READER speaks the following lesson in Eastertide:

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  — [Hebrews 13:20-21]

CHOIR: Thanks be to God.

The following Respond is chanted:

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

CANTOR: For thou hast redeeméd me, O Lord, thou God of truth;
CHOIR: Alleluia, alleluia.

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. Alleluia, alleluia.

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 220: O Lord Most High, eternal King (Tune: Aeterne Rex altissime) – Plainsong, Mode I

O Lord Most High, eternal King,
by thee redeemed thy praise we sing.
The bonds of death are burst by thee,
and grace has won the victory.

Ascending to the Father’s throne
thou claim’st the kingdom as thine own;
and angels wonder when they see
how changed is our humanity.

Be thou our joy, O Mighty Lord,
as thou wilt be our great reward;
let all our glory be in thee
both now and through eternity.

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
all praise to thee let earth accord,
who art, while endless ages run,
with Father and with Spirit, One.

— Latin, 5th-7th cent.; tr. John Mason Neale (1818-1866) and others, alt.

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 IV; harm. anonymous 16th cent. composer; adapt. Bernarr Rainbow (1914-1998)

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, 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 the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be 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 at 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 him 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 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:

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER: THE SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY
O God, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy king- / dom in heaven: We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless, but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Savior Christ is gone be- \ fore; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world with- | öut end. Ämen.

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.

Or

O Lord, who by triumphing over the powers of darkness didst prepare our place in the new Jerusalem: Grant us, who have this day given thanks for thy resurrection, to praise thee in that city, whereof thou art the light; where with the Father and the Holy Ghost, thou livest and reigned one God, world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

The READER announces the anthem to be sung. 

ANTHEM: O Rex gloriae – Luca Marenzio (1560-1599)

[Latin text]

O Rex gloriae, Domine virtutum,
qui triumphator hodie super omnes coelos ascendisti;
ne derelinquas nos orphanos,
sed mitte promissum Patris in nos,
spiritum veritatis.
Alleluia.

[English translation]

O King of glory, Lord of all power,
Who ascended to heaven on this day triumphant over all;
Do not leave us as orphans,
But send us the Father’s promise,
The spirit of truth.
Alleluia.

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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