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How to use Complines

‘Shall we say Compline tonight?’  Compline is used in the Northumbria Community as an optional extra to the Daily Office, but brings a perfect end to the day. Many use it on a regular basis, usually just before retiring to bed. On retreats it can be used to bring time together to a close as the whole household goes into quiet until next morning. These prayers are not lengthy and can be offered in just a few minutes.

It is recommended that a time of quietness should precede Compline, emptying out all the tensions and concerns of the past day and shifting the focus of our attention back to God. Then the sign of the cross can be made silently before starting the spoken prayers.

If you have young children, Compline can be used as bed-time prayers with them or over them, substituting the child’s or children’s names in the boxed sections whenever they cannot say the prayer for themselves. E.g. ‘In peace will Martha lie down, for it is You, O Lord, You alone who makes her to rest secure.’

There is a different form of Compline for each day of the week. Each is named after an individual from the era of the Celtic Saints, serving as another reminder of the example set by ‘good ones of old’ who inspire us to seek God as they did.