Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Service of Compline

For centuries, the close of the monastic day has been the office of Compline, a time of prayer before sleep. This sung service includes Psalms, petitions, hymns, and other music, ending the day in prayerful meditation. Join us on Sunday, November 10, at 9 p.m. in the Nave as the men’s ensemble, Orison, will make its debut performance as part of the Church Street Master Arts Series in a Service of Compline. Here’s what to expect at the service:

  • A service late in the day – historically, Compline is the final church service of the day, that’s why it’s at 9 p.m.
  • A time for quietness and reflection – there will be no speaking; you will participate by listening and praying along with the Psalms.  You will hear mostly chanted unison singing, along with a couple of motets (selections sung in parts) by the twelve men’s voices. With only one exception, the service is sung in English.
  • A dimly lit Nave – the lights will be on low and there will be votive candles all around the Nave.  There are no printed bulletins or programs. 
  • A multi-sensory service – you will experience the smoke of burning incense, which is interpreted as a symbol of the prayer of the faithful rising to heaven. You’ll hear the random ringing of the tower bells to indicate the beginning and ending of the service.


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