An Alternative Order: The Office of Compline (1992)
The early Christians took over from the Jews the practice of offering prayer at fixed hours of the day. By the end of the fifth century the work of Saint Benedict had formalised the structure of seven ‘Day Hours’ and a ‘Night Office.’ The last of the ‘Day Hours’ - Compline - was absorbed into Evening Prayer by Archbishop Cranmer, but Anglican spirituality has consistently shown signs of a need for an act of worship before retiring for the night. This need, together with the need for a simple service which might be used in connection with retreats, or courses of sermons in Lent, led to the provision of an order for Compline in the 1928 Prayer Book.
This order for Compline, compiled by Bishop R.D. Silk, uses the traditional material and takes account of developments in the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.