You are here: Services » Compline
The office of Compline is held, with choir, on the fourth Sunday evening (5.00pm) of each month at St Peter's Church.
Compline is one of the ancient monastic offices that are based on the regular singing of the psalms and the reading of the Bible. Brief services, or offices, were (and still are in many monasteries) said or sung throughout the day and night, in accordance with St Paul's instruction to 'pray without ceasing', and so that the whole of the daily routine of monks and nuns could be sanctified and offered to God.
Dervied from the Latin completorium (as Compline represents the completion of the working day), the word was first used in this sense about the beginning of the sixth century by St Benedict in his Rule. Compline is a contemplative service that emphasises spiritual peace. In many monasteries it is the custom to begin the “Great Silence” after Compline, during which the whole community, includingguests, observe silence throughout the night until the morning service the next day.
In the Anglican tradition, Compline was merged with Vespers to form Evening Prayer (or Evensong) in the Book of Common Prayer, however a number of prayer books (including the proposed 1928 Book of Common Prayer and the more modern Common Worship) still provide forms of the service. The liturgy as celebrated at St Peter's is based on that published by the Royal School of Church Music for The Plainsong and Medieval Music Society. Some of the service is sung to plainsong, in recognition of the ancient roots of this beautiful liturgy, but elements of the Anglican tradition are also included, such as choral settings of the Kyrie and/or Nunc dimittis, and the anthem.
If such a traditional style of worship is unfamiliar to you, try to see it as a timeless expression of humanity's offering of prayer and praise to God. The texts used in the service are drawn largely from Scripture, often with a musical setting which enhances and enriches them. Our efforts to create worship which embodies beauty and poetry are our response to the abundant goodness, blessing and love shown to us by God, which should inspire us to give back of our best to him. There are many forms of participation in worship, and these include allowing ourselves to be open to the glimpses of the divine which can be imparted through sacred music, as well as using the serenity and calm which are characteristic of parts of the service to make one'sown personal prayers to God.
The Order of Service for Compline, as followed at St Peter's Church, can be found here.
Be present, O 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 repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday 9am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 4.30pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Monday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Monday - Saturday, 10am - 3pm
For information on service times at All Saints', St Mary's & St Peter's, visit the services page
All Saints' Church - Raleigh Street, NG7 4DP
St Mary's Church - High Pavement, NG1 1HN
St Peter's Church - St Peter's Gate, NG1 2NW
Please contact the Parish Office for details of any events or to get in touch with a member of staff.
The office is situated on the upper floor of the St Peter's Centre, on the south side of St Peter's Church and adjacent to Marks & Spencer.
0115 948 3658 (+44 115 948 3658 outside the UK)
If you wish to trace a former resident or member of the parish, please address your requests to the Nottinghamshire Archives.