Evening prayers or Compline?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Mark Carrigher, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Mark Carrigher

    Mark Carrigher New Member

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    Hi all,can anyone advise on how to decide between doing the evening daily office or the compline please? Is there a set time one should follow one over the other?
     
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  2. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Evening Prayer at around 6pm and Compline at bedtime. Don’t worry too much about having a precise time. In my diocese many churches hold Evening Prayer at 4pm during winter and at 6pm in summer.

    In the monastic scheme. Nones (mid afternoon prayer) would’ve been at around 3pm, Vespers (evening prayer) at around 6pm and Compline (night prayer) before retiring for bed. The monks bedtime would’ve been quite early as they had to be up again in the very early hours of the morning for Vigils.

    If you want to read a fair bit of scripture then it’s best to pray Evening Prayer. Compline only has a few short sentences.
     
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  3. Edmundia

    Edmundia Member

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    There are two beautiful recordings of Compline on YOUTUBE, from Guildford Cathedral, all sung to Gregorian Chant with "Prayerbook English" , as it used to be broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on Sunday nights . I think that the title is BEFORE THE ENDING OF THE DAY . They also used to broadcast the Sung Prayerbook Litany and that's on Youube :I think that the title is For All Sorts and Conditions ; it is extraordinarily beautiful.

    You can close your eyes, pray and pretend the Revolution Never Happened.
     
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  4. Magistos

    Magistos Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    I am not always able to manage Evening Prayer, but I always manage Compline, because it is short, and is a nice wind down, at bedside, to close the day.
    Ideally, you'd be looking at Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and then Compline.
     
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  5. Taiping

    Taiping New Member Anglican

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    I am trying to do Morning and Evening prayers on a regular basis but I do find it hard to do them. :( As such, I often end up doing Compline.
     
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  6. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I looked at Common Worship and I didn't see the option but the American prayer books have long had a section entitled 'Family Prayer.' This section includes a morning and evening variant and is much abridged and somewhat geared to include children. This form assumed that a period of Scripture reading would take place first, which could be as long or short as the head of household saw fit. Family Prayer can serve as a bridge to incorporating the Daily Office into one's life and discipline.
     
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  7. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Member Anglican

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    @Mark Carrigher and @Taiping - some advice I shared in another thread may help you both as you explore the Offices and Compline. Obviously the shortness of Compline makes it easier to do, and the 'Family Prayer' suggestion above accomplishes much the same sort of thing. In general most of us would probably direct you toward Morning & Evening Prayer as the end-goal, but simply diving in head-first isn't always the easiest way to go about it. Here's what I said to someone else recently:



    All the Prayer Book suggestions and private devotion book suggestions are great. But save yourself some money: ask the priest at the church you've started attending for a copy of the Prayer Book that is used there. We clergymen are normally very happy to give prayer books out for free! Plus, it's more helpful to explore a prayer book that is consistent with how the congregation worships; if they use the 1928 Prayer Book then you should explore that one, if a different edition, then that.

    As others have suggested, again, the daily offices of Morning and Evening Prayer are typically your best places to go to learn how to build a more solid prayer life. However, jumping straight in can be overwhelming, especially if the form and style is new to you, and you're trying to figure it out on your own. My advice would be to put a Daily Office together gradually, bit by bit.
    1. Look at the Psalms section of the Prayer Book you get, and read aloud (and think of it as prayer!) some or all of the Psalms for each morning and evening - you'll find the day of the month is noted inside the text.
    2. Look at the Daily Office Lectionary (Bible-reading plan), and read at least one of the daily readings after praying the Psalm(s).
    3. As that becomes more doable, check to see if the Prayer Book has a "Family Prayer" section, and add those prayers to the front and back of your Psalm-praying and Scripture-reading.
    4. When you're ready, switch over to Morning and/or Evening Prayer, whole hog.
    If you've got some time, might I recommend (as humbly as possible) checking out this video in which I talk about the traditional "three-fold rule of worship" which might help you conceptualize your prayer life in a new way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk2ouWbKkWE

    Definitely keep coming back and throwing questions at people! There's so much wisdom and experience here, it's awesome.
     
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  8. amazinglove

    amazinglove New Member

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  9. mediaque

    mediaque Member

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    The advice Fr. Brench gave was spot on and very similar to how I slowly worked myself into daily Morning and Evening Prayer. IMO, having come from the RCC, the BCP is much easier to maneuver than the RCC Daily Offices. As long as you approach it with honesty, God understands. It's not a race of how quickly I can get this routine down, but rather, a journey of drawing yourself closer to God. Just take your time. It will come to you quicker than you think. It did for me. :)
     
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  10. Mark Carrigher

    Mark Carrigher New Member

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    Thanks all so much, some lovely words of wisdom and pragmatism here. I feel confident now with the daily prayers in full and am generally keeping to at least evening prayers on daily basis.
     
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