Ita, who died in about 570, was abbess of a women’s community in Killeedy, County Limerick in Ireland. She ran a school for boys where she taught:

Faith in God with purity of heart; simplicity of life with religion; generosity with love.

Among those schooled by Ita was Brendan, who honoured her as his foster-mother and adviser. The Compline that follows is named after her because of its emphasis on examination of the heart, and the prayers of care and protection for each soul who crosses our path.

If this Compline is being used in a group setting the * notation indicates a change of reader; words in bold are said all together; words in bold italic are said by each person in turn; and + indicates where you might make the sign of the cross.

+ (silently)

The Sacred Three
to save
to shield
to surround
the hearth
the home
this night
and every night.

* Search me, O God, and know my heart.
Test me and know my thoughts.

* See if there is any wicked way in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.

O Father, O Son, O Holy Spirit,
forgive me my sins.
O only-begotten Son of the heavenly Father,
O God who is one,
O God who is true,
O God who is first,
O God who is one substance,
O God only mighty,
in three Persons, truly merciful,

* O God of life, this night,
O darken not to me Thy light.

* O God of life, this night,
close not Thy gladness to my sight.

* Keep Your people, Lord,
in the arms of Your embrace.
Shelter them under Your wings.

* Be their light in darkness.
Be their hope in distress.
Be their calm in anxiety.

* Be strength in their weakness.

* Be their comfort in pain.

* Be their song in the night.

In peace will I lie down, for it is You, O Lord,
You alone who makes me to rest secure.

* Be it on Your own beloved arm,
O God of grace, that I in peace shall awake.

Be the peace of the Spirit
mine this night.
Be the peace of the Son
mine this night.
Be the peace of the Father
mine this night.
The peace of all peace
be mine this night
+ in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.


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