Some of us have used these compline liturgies for many years. They are a nice exercise to do alone for the evening prayer time, to do with your cell, or to repeat often until they resonate deeply. They are gifts from the Northumbria Community in England and reflect their history as a great center of the Celtic Church. There will be no Bible readings this week, they are included in the prayer.

Thoughts for meditation

Aidan came to Lindisfarne from Iona in the year 635 at the request of King Oswald. He was a man of deep prayer who meditated on the words of Scripture, equipping himself in quiet for an active and highly effective apostolate. He remained at Lindisfarne for 16 years. In 651, Aidan was taken ill at Bamburgh and died. Cuthbert, who was a that moment looking after his flock of sheep on the Lammermuir hills, saw a vision of angels taking Aidan’s soul to heaven.

Suggestion for action

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)

* O Christ, Son of the living God,
may your Spirit guard our sleep,
may you watch over us as we rest
and hover around our beds.

* Reveal to us in our dreams
visions of Your glorious truth,
O High Prince of the universe,
O High Priest of the mysteries.

* May no dreams disturb our rest
and no nightmares darken our dreams.
May no fears or worries delay
our willing, prompt repose.

* May the virtue of our daily work
hallow our nightly prayers.
May our sleep be deep and soft
so our work be fresh and hard.

I will lie down and sleep in peace
for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

My dear ones, O God, bless Thou and keep,
in every place where they are.

* Into Your hands I commit my spirit;
I give it to You with all the love of my heart.

* How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

I make the cross of Christ upon my breast,
+ over the tablet of my hard heart,
and I beseech the Living God of the universe –
may the Light of Lights come
to my dark heart from Thy place;
may the Spirit’s wisdom come to my heart’s tablet
from my Savior.

* Christ without sin, Christ of wounds,
I am placing my soul and my body
under your guarding this night,
Christ of the poor, Christ of tears.
Your cross be my shielding this night,
O you Son of tears, of the wounds, of the piercing.

I am going now into the sleep:
O be it in your dear arm’s keep,
O God of grace, that I shall awake.

* My Christ! my Christ!
my shield, my encircler,
each day, each night,
each light, each dark.

* My Christ! my Christ!
my shield, my encircler,
each day, each night,
each light, each dark.
Be near me, uphold me,
my treasure, my triumph.

Circle me, Lord,
keep protection near
and danger afar.

* Circle me, Lord,
keep light near
and darkness afar.

* Circle me, Lord,
keep peace within;
keep evil out.

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