Night Prayer: An Order for Compline

When all have gathered, the leader begins, the people responding with the portions in bold type.

The God of peace grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
The angels of God guard us through the night,
and quiet the powers of darkness.
The Spirit of God be our guide,
to lead us to peace and to glory.
It is but lost labour that we haste to rise up early, and so late take our rest, and eat the bread of anxiety.
For those beloved of God are given gifts even while they sleep.

One of the following penitential forms may be used.

Form 1
For the forgiveness of our sins and offences, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

Form 2
We have wounded your love.
O God, heal us.
We stumble in the darkness.
Light of the world, transfigure us.
We forget that we are your home.
Spirit of God, dwell in us.

Eternal Spirit,
living God, in whom we live and move and have our being, all that we are, have been, and shall be is known to you. In the very secret of our hearts you know all that rises to trouble us.

Living flame, burn into us.
Cleansing wind, blow through us.
Fountain of water, well up within us;
that we may love and praise
in deed and in truth. Amen.

Form 3
Dear God, we thank you for all that is good,
for our creation and our humanity,
for the stewardship you have given us of this planet earth,
for the gifts of life and of one another,
for your love which is unbounded and eternal.

Merciful God,
we have not loved you with our whole heart,
nor our neighbours as ourselves.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
forgive what we have been,
accept us as we are,
and guide what we shall be.
O God of mercy,
you forgive our past sin,
you strengthen us in your gift of eternal life,
you shape us for glory.
O God of mercy, we thank you.

The following or some other suitable hymn may be sung. 

To you before the close of day,
Creator of all things, we pray
that, in your saving constancy,
our guard and keeper you would be.

Save us from troubled, restless sleep;
from all ill dreams your children keep.
So calm our minds that fears may cease
and rested bodies wake in peace.

A healthy life we ask of you:
the fire of love in us renew,
and when the dawn new light will bring,
your praise and glory we shall sing.

Almighty Father, hear our cry
through Jesus Christ, our Lord, most high,
whom with the Spirit we adore
forever and for evermore.


One of the following psalms may be said or sung on the day indicated or on any other day. Other suitable selections may be substituted.

Sunday (or Saint’s Day) Psalm 8

O Lord our governor, *
how exalted is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children *
your majesty is praised above the heavens.
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, *
to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What are mortals that you should be mindful of them? *
Mere human beings that you should seek them out?
You have made them but little lower than the angels; *
you adorn them with glory and honour;
You give them mastery over the works of your hands; *
you put all things under their feet:
All sheep and oxen, *
even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor, *
how exalted is your name in all the world!

Monday Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
“You mortals, how long will you dishonour my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?”
Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.
Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the Lord.
Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!” *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.
You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Tuesday Psalm 16.1, 5–11

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; *
I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord,
my good above all other.”
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; *
it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; *
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; *
my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me; *
because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; *
my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave, *
nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life; *
in your presence there is fullness of joy,
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Wednesday Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; *
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures *
and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul *
and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil; *
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me in the presence of those
who trouble me; *
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life, *
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Thursday Psalm 42.1–7, 10

As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *
so longs my soul for you, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, *
while all day long they say to me,
“Where now is your God!”
I pour out my soul when I think on these things: *
how I went with the multitude and led them into the
house of God,
With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *
among those who keep holy-day.
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
The Lord grants his loving-kindness in the daytime; *
in the night season his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

Friday Psalm 31.1–5

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O Lord, O God of truth.

Saturday Psalm 139.1–11

Lord, you have searched me out and known me; *
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me *
and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night,”
Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.

Either of the following may be used to conclude the psalm reading.

Glory to the Father,
and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.


Glory to God,
Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.

Scripture Reading

One of the following readings may be read on the day indicated or on any other day. Other suitable selections may be substituted.

Sunday (or Saint’s Day) Revelation 22.1–5

The angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river, is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Thanks be to God.

Monday Ezekiel 36.24–26

I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the
countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle
clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your
uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A
new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you;
and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give
you a heart of flesh.
Thanks be to God.

Tuesday Matthew 11.28–30

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy
burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and
you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.”
Thanks be to God.

Wednesday 2 Corinthians 4.6–10

It is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this
treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this
extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not
driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but
not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so
that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
Thanks be to God.

Thursday Ephesians 3.16–19

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that
you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through
his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,
as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may
have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the
breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of
Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all
the fullness of God.
Thanks be to God.

Friday Philippians 2.5–11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though
he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as
something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of
a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human
form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death
— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and
gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the
earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father.
Thanks be to God.

Saturday Hebrews 4.9–11a

A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those
who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did.
Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.
Thanks be to God.


Into your hands, O God, I commend my spirit;
For you have redeemed me, O God of truth and love.
Keep us, O God, as the apple of your eye;
Hide us under the shadow of your wings.


Preserve us, O God, waking,
and guard us sleeping;
that awake we may watch with Christ,
and asleep we may rest in peace.

In Easter Season, add Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

The Song of Simeon (Luke 2.29–32)

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; *
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation *
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
a light to reveal you to the nations *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father,
and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.


Glory to God,
Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.


Preserve us, O God, waking,
and guard us sleeping;
that awake we may watch with Christ,
and asleep we may rest in peace.

In Easter Season, add Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


After a silence, one or both of the following prayers may be used.

it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world
and of our own lives rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.
In your name we pray. Amen.

Come, O Spirit of God,
and make within us your dwelling place and home.
May our darkness be dispelled by your light,
and our troubles calmed by your peace;
may all evils be redeemed by your love,
all pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,
and all dying glorified by his risen life. Amen.

One of the following prayers of intercession or the litany may be used.
Keep watch, dear God,
with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary,
bless the dying, soothe the suffering,
pity the afflicted, shield the joyous;
and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

O God, your unfailing providence
sustains the earth which nurtures us and the life we live:
watch over those, both night and day,
who work while others sleep,
and grant that we may never forget
that our common life depends upon each other’s toil;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the peace of the whole world, we pray to you:
God of grace, hear our prayer.
For those who are weary, sleepless, or depressed,
we pray to you:
God of grace, hear our prayer.
For those who are hungry, sick, or frightened,
we pray to you:
God of grace, hear our prayer.
For rest and refreshment, we pray to you:
God of grace, hear our prayer.

The leader may invite the gathered community to offer their own prayers silently or aloud, and bring the time of prayer to a close by saying the following collect or any one of the daily collects.

Gracious God, support us all the day long of this earthly life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.
Then, O God, in your mercy,
grant us safe lodging, a holy rest,
and peace at the last;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday (or Saint’s Day)

Almighty God,
you have triumphed over the powers of darkness
and in Jesus Christ have prepared a place for us
in the new Jerusalem.
Night Prayer 63
May we, together with all your saints,
give thanks for his resurrection,
and praise him in that eternal city of which he is the light.


Be our light in the darkness, O Lord,
and in your great mercy defend us
from all perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Be present, merciful God,
and protect us through the silent hours of this night
so that we who are wearied by the changes
and chances of this fleeting world
may rest in your eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Look down, O God, from your heavenly throne,
and illumine this night with your celestial brightness;
that by night as by day
your people may glorify your holy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Visit this place, O God,
and drive far from it all snares of the enemy;
let your holy angels dwell within
64 Night Prayer
to preserve us in peace;
and let your blessing be upon us always;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O living God,
in Jesus Christ you were laid in the tomb at this evening hour,
and thereby sanctified the grave to be a bed of hope to your people.
Give us courage and faith to die daily to our sin and pride,
that even as this flesh and blood decays,
our lives still may grow in you,
that at the last, we may pass through the gate of death
and live in you for ever. Amen.


We give you thanks, O God,
for revealing your Son Jesus Christ to us
by the light of his resurrection.
Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day,
our joy may abound in the morning
as we celebrate the Paschal mystery;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I will lie down in peace and take my rest,
for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid.
May God’s name be praised beyond the furthest star,
glorified and exalted above all for ever.

The leader invites the gathered community to say the Lord’s Prayer in their own language or using one of the following forms. 

Form 1
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Form 2
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

One of the following may be used.

The almighty and merciful God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless us and keep us. Amen.

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and peace at the last.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

May the God of peace give us peace in all ways and at all times.