June 30, 2021
Dear friends in Christ,
Recently we started offering Compline services virtually. Compline has a long history within the Church, reflecting that desire many people have to stop at the end of the day, reflect on the events of the day while also preparing to entrust ourselves to God as we go to sleep.
There is no one way to “do” Compline. The Book of Common Prayer offers two forms: a fuller service with traditional format using set psalms, readings, and canticles; also an abbreviated form in a section called “Family Devotions”. Both are good, and it depends on your personal choices which serves you best.
In our approach, we have chosen to try different musical settings as well as spoken prayers. Its been a good mix, hopefully speaking to people who may not be familiar with the Episcopal Church as well as our own members. As we move forward, it has become apparent how Compline can draw participants into a unique place spiritually.
Let me try to explain. Jesus was born one of us, took on human flesh. There was a purpose to his Incarnation – so that we might become one with him, and enter into a journey that would restore us to life with God. Compline invites us to take a step through prayer into that journey. Especially with the music, we are lifted from the ordinary into the mystery of God’s love. We discover there is little we have to “do” outside of a willingness to be there.
So when you hear that we will be using chant in Compline, or offer silence, it is not simply returning to “tradition”. We are offering something each one of us wants, though we often don’t know to achieve it. We are inviting people to satisfy that desire we have to feed our spirit.
We are talking about using more chant, with incense, enhanced use of darkness and light, and we think it would be appropriate to invite people to be physically present for the services as well as offer them virtually.
Because of the nature of Compline, you could watch, or listen, virtually the same service throughout a week at the end of the day, and never feel like you are repeating the same experience.
Join us for this journey with Compline, and know the peace that comes when we put ourselves in God’s hand at the close of the day. There will be more information on what is happening with Compline coming out soon.
May we walk with God, and trust in Him for our peace,