Night Prayer

Night Prayer

An Order for Night Prayer (Compline)

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen.

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

Silent prayer/reflection on the past day.

Holy God,
we confess to you before the company

of the faithful in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned against you,
against one another
and against your creation.
Forgive us in your mercy,
help us to forgive each other
and to hold in reverence
all that you have made. Amen.

The following hymn may be said or sung.

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That you, with steadfast love,
would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Tread underfoot our deadly foe
That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;
And Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Our souls are raised to life from death.


Psalm 139, or another suitable Psalm, is read.

O 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 mark out my journeys and my resting place
and are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue,
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

You encompass me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your spirit?
Or 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 shall lead me,
your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me
and the light around me turn to night,’

Even darkness is no darkness with you;
the night is as clear as the day;
darkness and light to you are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;
already in your book were all my members written,

As day by day they were fashioned
when as yet there was none of them.

How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!

If I count them, they are more in number than the sand,
and at the end, I am still in your presence.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,

and shall be for ever. Amen.


One of the following short passages of Scripture are read.

In Lent:

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Isaiah 58. 6, 7

In Passiontide:

I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Zechariah 12. 10

In Eastertide:

The servants of the Lamb shall see the face of God, whose name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night: they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 22. 4, 5

Between the Ascension and Pentecost:

I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. The old shall dream dreams and the young shall see visions.
– Joel 2. 28


Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.


The Nunc Dimittis.

Save us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ

and asleep may rest in peace.

Now, Lord, 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 shall be for ever. Amen.

Save us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ

and asleep may rest in peace.

Various prayers are offered, which may include this short litany.

That you will give us a quiet night and a perfect end:
we pray to you, O Lord.

That you will have mercy upon us
and grant us your salvation:
we pray to you, O Lord.

That you will keep us this night without sin:
we pray to you, O Lord.

That you will guard us and give us your blessing:
we pray to you, O Lord.

That you will bring us with all your saints
to glory everlasting:
we pray to you, O Lord.

Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.

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.


In peace we will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,
for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,
so do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;
the Lord make his face to shine upon us
and be gracious to us;
the Lord look kindly on us
and all for whom we pray
and give us his peace.
Amen.