How’s your evening routine every day? Is it peaceful and recollected, with your thoughts tending toward heaven as you head to bed each night? Well, it can be that way–that is what the prayer of Compline is for. Compline has helped the faithful end the day in a holy way for centuries and centuries.
Lovers of Latin and Chant and all things Traditional Catholic, rejoice! I have found a complete guide with all the texts for the “hour” of Compline in the traditional Divine Office: find it here. It’s absolutely free to print for yourself and your family. Folks, this is pretty amazing.
(Haven’t I convinced you yet that you want to learn to pray the traditional Divine Office? It’s what built the Christian world of the Age of Faith along with Holy Mass. It’s the prayer of the Church: mysterious, glorious, vast, rich, and deep.)
So, this guide and manual for praying Compline makes it so easy for laymen and families to begin accessing the treasures of the Divine Office. It was arranged and typeset by Mrs. Veronica Brandt, an active wife and mother, for use with her family every night, so it’s just what you need. It’s certainly just what I needed!
Compline is the simplest “hour” of the eight “hours” in the Divine Office. This simplicity makes it absolutely perfect for beginning with.
The prayers of Compline can be thought of as belonging to five basic sections, or parts. Some things in the parts are variable (by day or by season of the Church Year), others are always the same every day. These five parts are:
- The Beginning or Preparatory Section
- The Psalter
- The Compline Hymn (Te Lucis ante Terminum)
- Little Chapter/Responsory/Canticle
- Marian Antiphon
Don’t worry: all of this has been arranged for you to see and follow easily. Just open the book–the guide walks you step by step gently, expertly, and even beautifully, with elegant typesetting. Whatever is in Latin has English translations, so anyone who is able to read can follow along. Those who want to learn to sing the chants can learn from the music settings of the texts which are included in each section (in Gregorian notation), or the music settings can be ignored and the texts can be spoken. Whatever your needs, you will be able to fill them somehow in these pages. (I cannot commend Mrs. Brandt enough for her exemplary work. And this is far from her only project! Check out more of what she has done here at the BrandtLab.)
Yes, treasures await you as you begin praying the Divine Office. Our Lord is the “beauty ever ancient, ever new,” and this beauty of His is reflected in the prayer rhythm and spiritual life of His Bride, the Holy Catholic Church, particularly in the Mass and Divine Office. I hope you take on the opportunity to join the Church in Her last prayer as you close the day, and I think that you will be amazed by the life and depth that Compline will add to your spiritual practice.