Compline



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Wednesday 20 January 2021

Music 

Ne irascaris

William Byrd

Voces 8 


 

Welcome

 

We meet together in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

Today is Inauguration Day in the United States,a day when we hope and pray for President Joe Biden as he leads this nation to healing and reconciliation between the divides, and that will be no mean feat.

But it is not a day for us to rest on our laurels, but rather to recognise  the divisions in our country, to ask for forgiveness and to do all we can to be people of reconciliation.

And so we listen tonight to the music of William Byrd (1540-1623) and words taken from Isaiah 64:

 

Words

Ne irascaris, Domine, satis

et ne ultra memineris iniquitatis nostrae.

Ecce, respice, populus tuus omnes nos.

Civitas sancti tui facta est deserta.

Sion deserta facta est, Jerusalem desolata est.

Words Isaiah 64 v. 9

 

Translation

Be not angry, O Lord, still,

neither remember our iniquity for ever.

Behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

The holy cities are a wilderness.

Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

 

Preparation

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.  Amen

 

Our help is in the name of the Lord

who hath made heaven and earth.

  

 (A period of silence for reflection on the past day)

   

Almighty God, have mercy upon us, 

forgive us all our sins and deliver us from all evil, 

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, 

and bring us to life everlasting; 

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon and remission of all your sins, 

time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.      Amen.

 

The prayer of Brendan

 

Shall I abandon the comforts and benefits of my home, 

seeking the island of promise our fathers knew long ago, 

sail on the face of the deep where no riches or fame or weapons protect you, 

and nobody honours your name? 

Shall I take leave of my friends and my beautiful native land, 

tears in my eyes as my knees mark my final prayer in the sand?

 

King of the mysteries, will You set watch over me? 

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You on the sea? 

Christ of the Heavens, and Christ of the ravenous ocean wave, 

I will hold fast to my course through the dangers I must brave. 

King of the mysteries, angels will watch over me, 

Christ of the mysteries, when I trust You on the sea. 

 

Brendan's example speaks to us each: Have I the courage to leave the familiar and journey into the unknown? to journey beyond the way I have prayed, the life I have lived, the sensible and the secure? to trust God to take me beyond these familiar shores? 

 

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You on the sea? 

 

O Lord, I pray that in You, 

I'll break ground both fresh and new. 

As a student let me stand. 

Break the hardness of the land 

with Your forgiving Father-hand. 

 

Prepare the way! Prepare the way! Prepare a way for the Lord. 

 

Have I the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with God?

 

Reading: 

 

Isaiah 64

 

Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!

How the mountains would quake in your presence!

As fire causes wood to burn

and water to boil,

your coming would make the nations tremble.

Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!

When you came down long ago,

you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.

And oh, how the mountains quaked!

For since the world began,

no ear has heard

and no eye has seen a God like you,

who works for those who wait for him!

You welcome those who gladly do good,

who follow godly ways.

But you have been very angry with us,

for we are not godly.

We are constant sinners;

how can people like us be saved?

We are all infected and impure with sin.

When we display our righteous deeds,

they are nothing but filthy rags.

Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,

and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

Yet no one calls on your name

or pleads with you for mercy.

Therefore, you have turned away from us

and turned us over to our sins.

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.

We are the clay, and you are the potter.

We all are formed by your hand.

Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.

Please don’t remember our sins forever.

Look at us, we pray,

and see that we are all your people.

 

Reconciliation is the ability to meet at a common point regarding disputes and to reach an agreement on these disputes. At the same time, it can build mutual trust, which is one of the requirements of peace. "Cultural reconciliation" is an important step for communities to come closer and create common spaces. One of its most important actors is music. Music facilitates reaching larger audiences, and it can be used to create reconciliation on the path to resolution. 

 

Music 

Ne irascaris

Voces 8 

 

 

 Silence

 

The prayers of Brendan,

as we face a New Year.

 

I thank You for this year, my God, 

I am a traveller and stranger in the world,

like so many of Your people before me. 

There is a sense of adventure, 

of openness to possibilities, 

abandonment to God and expectation of fulfilling His will. 

I accept the responsibility, 

I'll hear and obey, and trust it is Your voice I hear, 

the call of the Spirit, the cry of the Bird of Heaven. 

 

It is a Yes to risky living… 

The sea takes me; where I do not know, 

but I gladly go. 

And I can only trust every word You say, and obey

 

Preserve us, O Lord, while waking,

and guard us while sleeping, 

that awake we may watch with Christ, 

and asleep we may rest in peace.

 

Lord, have mercy upon us

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

 

Our Father, which art in heaven, 

hallowed be thy name; 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

in earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses, 

as we forgive them that trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.  

Amen.

 

One of my spiritual heroes is Dietrich Bonhoeffer who had the courage to follow the call of God to be with his people during the Second World War and to be killed by Hitler for plotting his downfall.

He was a true believer in reconciliation and utterly saddened that it could not be achieved in the face and actions of this man.

 

Music

 

Three prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Vasari Singers

 

 

O Lord my God, I thank Thee that Thou hast brought this day to a
close;
I thank thee that Thou hast giv'n me peace in body and in soul.
Thy hand has been over me and has protected and preserved me.
Forgive my puny faith, the ill that I this day have done,
And help me to forgive all who have wronged me.

O Lord my God, Grant me a quiet night's sleep beneath Thy tender
care,
And defend me from all the temptations of darkness.

Into Thy hands I commend my loved ones and all who dwell in this
house:
I commend my body and soul: O God, Thy holy name be praised.

Silence

  

The prayer of Brendan

 

Part XVI 

Lord, I will trust You,

help me to journey beyond the familiar 

and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways 

and break fresh ground with You.

 

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You

to be stronger than each storm in me? 

Do I still yearn for Your glory to lighten on me? 

I will show others the care You've given me. 

I determine amidst all uncertainty always to trust. 

I choose to live beyond regret, and let You recreate my life. 

I believe You will make a way for me and provide for me, if only I trust You and obey. 

I will trust in the darkness and know that my times are still in Your hand. 

I will believe You for my future, chapter by chapter, until all the story is written. 

 

Focus my mind and my heart upon You, 

my attention always on You without alteration. 

Strengthen me with Your blessing and appoint to me the task. 

Teach me to live with eternity in view.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven. 

Feed me, and, somehow, 

make my obedience count for You.

 

Let us pray. Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, this place, and drive from it all the snares of the enemy; let thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace; and may thy blessing be upon us evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  

We will lay us down in peace and take our rest. 

For it is thou, Lord, only that makest us dwell in safety.

  

Abide with us, O Lord 

 for it is toward evening and the day is far spent.

 

As the watchmen look for the morning

so do we look for thee, O Christ.

 

The Lord be with you 

and with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord. 

Thanks be to God.

 

The almighty and merciful Lord,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,

bless us and preserve us.  Amen.

 

Music 

If ye love me

Thomas Tallis

Tenebrae

 


Wednesday 13 January

Music 

Spiegel im Spiegel


 

Welcome: we meet together in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

During January, as we start our journey into this new year, we will be following the Compline of St Brendan, that great Irish saint and traveller, who often went into the unknown. 

 

St. Brendan of Ardfert and Clonfert, known also as Brendan the Voyager, was born in Ciarraighe Luachra, near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, in 484; he died at Enachduin, now Annaghdown, in 577. He was baptized at Tubrid, near Ardfert, by Bishop Erc.

 

Like the wanderings of Ulysses, the story of Saint Brendan voyaging over perilous waters was a popular story in the Middle Ages. We see him as only a shadow in the old Celtic world, and who he was or where he came from is uncertain, though it is supposed that he was born the son of Findlugh near Tralee on Fenit Peninsula in Kerry, Ireland, of an ancient and noble line. It is said that, as a child, he was committed to the care of St Ita at Killeedy for five years, who introduced him to theology. She taught him three things that God really loves: “the true faith of a pure heart; the simple religious life; and bountifulness inspired by Christian charity.” She would have added the three things God hates are “a scowling face; obstinate wrong-doing; and too much confidence in money.”

 

When he was six he was sent to a monastery school at Tuam for his education. He was also under the tutelage of Bishop, St Erc, who had baptized him and, in 512, ordained Brendan to the priesthood. Like his master Saint Jarlath, he is reputed to have founded churches in Britain and Wales, as well as schools and monasteries in Ireland. After founding several settlements in Kerry, he sailed up the Shannon to found the famous monastery at Clonfert. Montague reminds us that even if Brendan had never left the islands, he would have merited recognition as one of the great saints of Ireland.

 

It is hard to pin down the chronology of his life; however, it seems that shortly after his ordination, Brendan became a monk and gathered a community of disciples around himself. Between the years 512 and 530 St. Brendan built monastic cells at Ardfert, and at Shanakeel or Baalynevinoorach, at the foot of Brandon Hill. Brendan's connection to the foundation of Clonfert in Galway about 559 appears certain. His biographers speak of his governing a community of 3,000 monks with a rule dictated to him by an angel. This foundation became the fountainhead for missionary activities for centuries.

 

Though Brendan was a real person, fabulous stories are told how his wanderings in search of an unknown land, perhaps the Faroes, the Canaries, or the Azores. For seven years he voyaged to find the Promised Land of the Saints.

 

On the Kerry coast, with 14 chosen monks, he built a coracle of wattle, covered it with hides tanned in oak bark softened with butter, and set up a mast and a sail, and after a prayer upon the shore, he embarked in the name of the Trinity to extend the Kingdom of God on earth. With his sixty companions he set sail with a month's provisions to seek the Island of the Blessed - a remnant of ancient Celtic folklore. On board the ship, all the rules of monastic life were strictly observed. After strange wanderings that included celebrating the Divine Offering on the back of a whale, he returned to Ireland to found Clonfert.

 

 

Preparation

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.  Amen

 

Our help is in the name of the Lord

who hath made heaven and earth.

  

 (A period of silence for reflection on the past day)

   

Almighty God, have mercy upon us, 

forgive us all our sins and deliver us from all evil, 

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, 

and bring us to life everlasting; 

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon and remission of all your sins, time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.      Amen.

 

The prayer of Brendan

 

Shall I abandon the comforts and benefits of my home, 

seeking the island of promise our fathers knew long ago, 

sail on the face of the deep where no riches or fame or weapons protect you, 

and nobody honours your name? 

Shall I take leave of my friends and my beautiful native land, 

tears in my eyes as my knees mark my final prayer in the sand?

 

King of the mysteries, will You set watch over me? 

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You on the sea? 

Christ of the Heavens, and Christ of the ravenous ocean wave, 

I will hold fast to my course through the dangers I must brave. 

King of the mysteries, angels will watch over me, 

Christ of the mysteries, when I trust You on the sea. 

 

Brendan's example speaks to each one of us: Have I the courage to leave the familiar and journey into the unknown? to journey beyond the way I have prayed, the life I have lived, the sensible and the secure? to trust God to take me beyond these familiar shores? 

 

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You on the sea? 

 

O Lord, I pray that in You, 

I'll break ground both fresh and new. 

As a student let me stand. 

Break the hardness of the land 

with Your forgiving Father-hand. 

 

Prepare the way! Prepare the way! Prepare a way for the Lord. 

 

Have I the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with God?

 

Reading: 

Hebrews 2:14-18, NLT

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

 

We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

 

Music

O magnum mysterium Exultate singers

Part 1

 

Reading

Being Human: Rowan Williams   p87-91

 

Silence

 

The prayers of Brendan,

as we face a New Year.

 

I thank You for this year, my God, 

I am a traveller and stranger in the world,

like so many of Your people before me. 

There is a sense of adventure, 

of openness to possibilities, 

abandonment to God and expectation of fulfilling His will. 

I accept the responsibility, 

I'll hear and obey, and trust it is Your voice I hear, 

the call of the Spirit, the cry of the Bird of Heaven. 

 

It is a Yes to risky living… 

The sea takes me; where I do not know, 

but I gladly go. 

And I can only trust every word You say, and obey

 

Preserve us, O Lord, while waking,

and guard us while sleeping, 

that awake we may watch with Christ, 

and asleep we may rest in peace.

 

Lord, have mercy upon us

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

 

Our Father, which art in heaven, 

hallowed be thy name; 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

in earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses, 

as we forgive them that trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.  

Amen.

 

Music

O magnum Mysterium 

Part  2

 

Silence

 

The prayer of Brendan

 

Part XVI 

Lord, I will trust You,

help me to journey beyond the familiar 

and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways 

and break fresh ground with You.

 

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You

to be stronger than each storm in me? 

Do I still yearn for Your glory to lighten on me? 

I will show others the care You've given me. 

I determine amidst all uncertainty always to trust. 

I choose to live beyond regret, and let You recreate my life. 

I believe You will make a way for me and provide for me, if only I trust You and obey. 

I will trust in the darkness and know that my times are still in Your hand. 

I will believe You for my future, chapter by chapter, until all the story is written. 

 

Focus my mind and my heart upon You, 

my attention always on You without alteration. 

Strengthen me with Your blessing and appoint to me the task. 

Teach me to live with eternity in view.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven. 

Feed me, and, somehow, 

make my obedience count for You.

 

Let us pray. Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, this place, and drive from it all the snares of the enemy; let thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace; and may thy blessing be upon us evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

We will lay us down in peace and take our rest. 

For it is thou, Lord, only that makest us dwell in safety.

  

Abide with us, O Lord 

for it is toward evening and the day is far spent.

 

As the watchmen look for the morning

so do we look for thee, O Christ.

 

The Lord be with you 

and with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord. 

Thanks be to God.

 

The almighty and merciful Lord,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,

bless us and preserve us.  Amen.

 

MUSIC 

O magnum mysterium

Part 3