Compline is a prayer service that is part of the Divine Office and is used to “complete” or close the day in prayer. Here is a compline service that I use in my personal devotions at the close of the day:


Opening

O God, come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
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

Confession

As preparation for a prayer of confession, it is appropriate to spend this moment in an examination of conscience.

Holy and gracious God, I confess that I have sinned against you this day. Some of my sin I know – the thoughts and words and deeds of which I am ashamed – but some is known only to you. In the name of Jesus Christ I ask forgiveness. Deliver and restore me, that I may rest in peace. Amen

By the mercy of God we are united with Jesus Christ, and in him we are forgiven. We rest now in his peace and rise in the morning to serve him.

Psalmody

One or more psalms (4, 33, 34, 91, 130, 134, 136) are prayed.

Psalm 134

Come, bless the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the Lord.
May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.
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.

Scripture Readings

As a brief lesson, one or more of the following are read:

You, O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not forsake us. (Jeremiah 14:9)

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith. (1 Peter 5:6-9a)

Gospel Canticle (Nunc Dimittis, The Song of Simeon – Luke 2:29-32)

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your 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.

Prayers

One or more of the following prayers may be prayed:

Be present, merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of life may find our rest in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troubled life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Visit our dwellings, O Lord, and drive from them all the snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God, the hours both of day and night are yours, and to you the darkness is no threat. Be present, we pray, with those who labor in these hours of night, especially those who watch and work on behalf of others. Grant them diligence in their watching, faithfulness in their service, courage in danger, and competence in emergencies. Help them to meet the needs of others with confidence and compassion; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gracious Lord, we give you thanks for the day, especially for the good we were permitted to give and to receive; the day is now past and we commit it to you. We entrust to you the night; we rest in surety, for you are our help, and you neither slumber nor sleep. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, 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. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Closing

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and peace at the last. Amen.


Here are the other services in the Divine Office that I have shared for one’s personal devotions:

9 thoughts on “Compline for Personal Devotions

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