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

Cuthbert, a shepherd boy looking after his flock on the Lammermuir hills, had a vision coinciding with the death of Aidan which convinced him that he was meant to follow Christ as surely as the beloved founder of Lindisfarne Abbey. He became a monk at Melrose Abbey, under the guidance of Boisil. Cuthbert later succeeded him as Prior. Later in his life Cuthbert became a dearly-loved bishop at Lindisfarne, from where, until his death in 687, he loved to retreat in solitude to pray and fast on the Farne Islands.

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)

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

O God, and Spirit, and Jesus, the Three,
from the crown of my head, O Trinity,
to the soles of my feet mine offering be.
Come I unto you, O Jesus, my King –
O Jesus, do be my sheltering.

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

* Whoever has chosen to make
the shelter of the Most High their dwelling place
will stay in His over-shadowing.

* He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I am trusting Him.

* He will rescue you from the traps laid for your feet,
and save you from the destroying curse.

* His faithful promises are your armor.
You need no longer be afraid of any terror by night,
or the death-arrow that flies by day.

* The Lord Himself is your refuge;
you have made the Most High your stronghold.

* Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for You are my crag and my stronghold.

* 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 will not lie down tonight with sin,
nor shall sin
nor sin’s shadow
lie down with me.

O God of life, this night,
O darken not to me your light.
O God of life, this night,
close not your gladness to my sight.
O God of life, this night,
Your door to me, O shut not tight,
O God of life, this night.

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

* Jesus, Son of Man!
my helper, my encircler.
Jesus, Son of God!
my strength everlasting.
Jesus, Son of Man!
my helper, my encircler.

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