Small Compline

For use with a Priest

 

See also: Small Compline as a Reader Service

      

Note: The translation used is primarily that of Fr. Lawrence of Jordanville.  All the psalms are from The Psalter According to the Seventy, © Copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. Some other material, such as prayers and hymns, are also Copyright HTM, used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, beyond printing out a single copy for personal non-commercial use, without the prior written authorization of Holy Transfiguration Monastery. 

 

Priest:  Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Reader: Amen. Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

 

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.

 

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

Priest:  For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory; of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Reader: Amen.

 

Lord have mercy. (12 times)

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

O come, let us worship God our King.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.

 

PSALM 50

 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

 

PSALM 69

 

O God, be attentive unto helping me; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be shamed and confounded that seek after my soul. Let them be turned back and brought to shame that desire evils against me. Let them be turned back straightway in shame that say unto me: Well done! Well done! Let them be glad and rejoice in Thee all that seek after Thee, O God, and let them that love Thy salvation say continually: The Lord be magnified. But as for me, I am poor and needy; O God come unto mine aid. My helper and my deliverer art Thou, O Lord; make no long tarrying.

 

PSALM 142

 

O Lord, hear my prayer; give ear unto my supplication in Thy truth; hearken unto me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life down to the earth. He hath sat me in darkness as those that have been long dead, and my spirit within me is become despondent; within me my heart is troubled. I remembered days of old, I meditated on all Thy works, I pondered on the creations of Thy hands. I stretched forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee like a waterless land. Quickly hear me, O Lord; my spirit hath fainted away. Turn not Thy face away from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning; for in Thee have I put my hope. Cause me to know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk; for unto Thee have I lifted up my soul. Rescue me from mine enemies, O Lord; unto Thee have I fled for refuge. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness; for Thy name's sake, O Lord, shalt Thou quicken me. In Thy righteousness shalt Thou bring my soul out of affliction, and in Thy mercy shalt Thou utterly destroy mine enemies. And Thou shalt cut off all them that afflict my soul, for I am Thy servant.

 

THE DOXOLOGY

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will among men. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory. O Lord, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty; O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and O Holy Spirit. O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; Thou that sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Every night will I bless Thee, and I will praise Thy Name forever, yea, forever and ever.

Lord, thou hast been our refuge in generation and generation. I said: O Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee. O Lord, unto Thee have I fled for refuge, teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. For in Thee is the fountain of life, in Thy light shall we see light. O continue Thy mercy unto them that know Thee.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this night without sin. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name unto the ages. Amen.

Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we have hoped in Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.. Blessed art Thou, O Master, give me understanding of Thy statutes. Blessed art Thou, O Holy One, enlighten me by Thy statutes.

O Lord, Thy mercy endureth forever; disdain not the works of Thy hands. To Thee is due praise, to Thee is due a song, to Thee glory is due, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

THE SYMBOL OF FAITH

 

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.

 

At this point, a canon is read, being for the Theotokos, from the Octoechos, or from the Menaion. And after the canon, the Stichera from Vespers, or from the Praises of Matins if there be any appointed for the Saint.  Also, an Akathist can be sung at this point in place of a canon, or one can simply continue on with the service without doing either a canon or an Akathist.  In Greek practice, the pre-communion canon is done here when one is preparing for communion the night previous.

 

 

Then:

 

It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless, and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

 

According to Greek practice, the Akathist Canon and Hymn are sung here on the Fridays of Great Lent.

 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.

 

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

Priest:  For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory; of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Reader: Amen.

 

If the temple be dedicated to the Lord or to the Theotokos, the troparion of the temple is said first, then the troparion of the day (see below), then "O God of our Fathers...", etc.  If the temple be dedicated to a saint, the troparion of the day is said first, then the troparion of the temple, then "O God of our fathers...", etc.  See the question about Patrons, if you are unsure about which troparion to use here.  If need be, you could simply omit the troparion for the temple, and use only the troparia given here. However, if one is doing the Service of the Akathist Hymn, none of the troparia which follow are used.  Instead, use the kontakia noted, and then skip down to “Reader: Lord, have mercy. (forty times)” followed immediately by the prayer: “Thou Who at all times and at every hour…”

 

On Sunday night:

Supreme Commanders of the Heavenly Hosts, we unworthy ones implore you that by your supplications ye will encircle us with the shelter of the wings of your immaterial glory, and guard us who fall down before you and fervently cry: Deliver us from dangers since ye are the Marshals of the Hosts on high.

 

On Monday night:

The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord's testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; for thou hast proved to be even more venerable than the prophets since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, thou didst rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades; that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.

 

On Tuesday night:

Save, O Lord, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; grant Thou unto Orthodox Christians victory over enemies; and by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth

 

On Wednesday night:

O holy Apostles, intercede with the merciful God, that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offenses.

 

And to St. Nicholas, Fourth Tone:

The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness and a teacher of temperance; therefore thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

 

On Thursday night:

Save, O Lord, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; grant Thou unto Orthodox Christians victory over enemies; and by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

 

Then, Sunday night through Thursday night (if simple service):

O God of our fathers, Who ever dealest with us according to Thy kindness, do not withdraw Thy mercy from us, but through their intercessions guide our life in peace.

 

Adorned in the blood of Thy martyrs throughout all the world, as in purple and fine linen, Thy Church, through them, doth cry unto Thee, O Christ God: Send down Thy compassions upon Thy people; grant to Thy community, and to our souls great mercy.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 

With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

 

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Through the intercessions, O Lord, of all the saints and the Theotokos, grant us Thy peace, and have mercy on us, as Thou alone art compassionate.

 

On Friday night:

O Apostles, Martyrs, and Prophets, Venerable and Righteous Ones; ye that have accomplished a good labor and kept the Faith, that have boldness before the Savior; O Good Ones, intercede for us, we pray, that our souls be saved.

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 

With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

 

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

To Thee, O Lord, the Planter of creation, the world doth offer the God-bearing martyrs as the first-fruits of nature. By their intercessions preserve Thy Church, Thy commonwealth, in profound peace, through the Theotokos, O Greatly-merciful One.

 

The troparion for a church patron saint is not said on Saturdays. On Saturday at Compline, the troparion and Kontakion of the Resurrection in the occurring tone are read.

 

IT SHOULD BE KNOWN: that from the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, and during all of the Holy Great Lent, on all Saturdays at Compline the Kontakion of the Resurrection is not read, but rather the one from the Triodion (except the fifth week of Lent), as also during the Holy Pentecost season on all days the Kontakion from the Pentecostarion is read, until the Sunday of All Saints. If there occur on Sunday a feast of the Lord, only the Kontakion of the feast is read. But if there be a feast of the Theotokos, or one of the saints that have a Polyeleos, or a great doxology, the Kontakion of the Resurrection is read, but that of the occurring feast or saint is omitted.

 

Reader: Lord, have mercy. (forty times)

 

Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners, Who callest all to salvation through the promise of good things to come: Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that, guarded and guided by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim; who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

 

In the name of the Lord, Father bless.

 

Priest: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.

 

Reader: Amen.

 

On Sunday nights during Great Lent, the prayer of St. Ephrem is said here.

 

Lord, have mercy. (12)

 

Save, help, and protect us, O Virgin Theotokos.

 

The Supplicatory Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos

 

O undefiled, untainted, uncorrupted, most pure, chaste Virgin, Thou Bride of God and Sovereign Lady, who didst unite the Word of God to mankind through thy most glorious birth giving, and hast linked the apostate nature of our race with the heavenly; who art the only hope of the hopeless, and the helper of the struggling, the ever-ready protection of them that hasten unto thee, and the refuge of all Christians: Do not shrink with loathing from me a sinner, defiled, who with polluted thoughts, words, and deeds have made myself utterly unprofitable, and through slothfulness of mind have become a slave to the pleasures of life. But as the Mother of God Who loveth mankind, show thy love for mankind and mercifully have compassion upon me a sinner and prodigal, and accept my supplication, which is offered to thee out of my defiled mouth; and making use of thy motherly boldness, entreat thy Son and our Master and Lord that He may be pleased to open for me the bowels of His lovingkindness and graciousness to mankind, and, disregarding my numberless offenses, will turn me back to repentance, and show me to be a tried worker of His precepts. And be thou ever present unto me as merciful, compassionate and well disposed; in the present life be thou a fervent intercessor and helper, repelling the assaults of adversaries and guiding me to salvation, and at the time of my departure taking care of my miserable soul, and driving far away from it the dark countenances of the evil demons; lastly, at the dreadful day of judgment delivering me from torment eternal and showing me to be an heir of the ineffable glory of thy Son and our God; all of which may I attain, O my Sovereign Lady, most holy Theotokos, in virtue of thine intercession and protection, through the grace and love to mankind of thine only begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to Whom is due all glory, honor and worship, together with His unoriginate Father, and His Most Holy and good and life creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

A Prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ, by Antiochus the monk

 

And grant unto us, O Master, in the coming sleep, rest for body and soul, and preserve us from the gloomy slumber of sin, and from every dark and nocturnal sensuality. Subdue the impulses of passions, extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one that are cunningly hurled against us, assuage the rebellions of our flesh, and every earthly and fleshly subtlety of ours lull to sleep. And grant unto us, O God, a watchful mind, chaste thought, a sober heart, a sleep gentle and free from every satanic illusion. Raise us up at the time of prayer firmly grounded in Thy judgments. All the night long grant us a doxology, that we may hymn and bless and glorify Thy most honorable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Most glorious, Ever-Virgin, Mother of Christ God, present our prayer to thy Son and our God, that through thee, He may save our souls.

 

My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit: O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.

 

All my hope I place in thee, O Mother of God: keep me under thy protection.

 

All creation – the assembly of angels and the race of man – rejoiceth in thee, O thou who art full of grace, O sacred temple and noetical paradise, boast of virgins, from whom God, Who existeth from before time, was incarnate and became a child; for He made thy body a throne, and thy womb He made more spacious than the heavens.  All creation rejoiceth in thee, O thou who art full of grace.  Glory to thee!

 

A Prayer to the Guardian Angel

 

O holy angel that standeth by my wretched soul and my passionate life, forsake not me a sinner, nor shrink from me because of mine intemperance.  Give no place for the cunning demon to master me through the violence of my mortal body, strengthen my poor and feeble hand, and guide me in the way of salvation.  Yea, O holy angel of God, guardian and protector of my wretched soul and body, forgive me all wherein I have offended thee all the days of my life; and if I have sinned in anything this day, protect me during this present night, and guard me from every temptation of the enemy, that I may not anger God by any sin.  And pray to the Lord for me, that he may establish me in His fear, and show me, His servant, to be worthy of His goodness.  Amen.

 

O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, O Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

(Thrice)

 

Priest:  Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee.

 

Choir:  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

Lord, have mercy.  (Thrice)

 

Father, bless.

 

Priest:  May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.

 

Choir: Amen.

 

Priest:  Bless, holy fathers (mothers, brothers and sisters) and forgive me a sinner, all wherein I have sinned this day in deed, word, and thought, and by all my senses.

 

And the brethren (sisters) (congregation) reply:

 

May God forgive and have mercy on thee, holy father.

 

And they make a bow (or a prostration, depending on the typicon), asking this forgiveness:

 

Bless me, holy father, and forgive all wherein I have sinned this day in deed, word, and thought, and by all my senses, and pray for me a sinner.

 

Priest:  Through His grace may God forgive and have mercy on us all.

 

And he saith this Ectenia:

 

Let us pray for our Great Lord and Father, His Holiness Patriarch N.; for our lord the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan N., First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; for our lord the Most Reverend (Archbishop or Bishop N., whose diocese it is) and all our brethren in Christ.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.  Repeated after each petition.

 

Priest:  For the God-preserved Russian land and its Orthodox people both in the homeland and in the diaspora, and for their salvation; for this land, its authorities and armed forces, and for every Christian land.

For them that hate us and them that love us.

For them that are kind to us and them that serve us.

For them that have asked us unworthy ones to pray for them.

For the deliverance of the imprisoned.

For our fathers and brethren that have passed on before us.

For those sailing upon the sea.

For those bedridden in infirmities.

Let us pray for the abundance of the fruits of the earth.

And for every Orthodox Christian soul.

Let us bless pious kings (rulers), Orthodox hierarchs, and the founders of this holy habitation.

Our parents, and all that have passed on before us, our fathers, brethren, and the Orthodox here and everywhere laid to rest.

Let us say also for ourselves.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy. Thrice

Then the following Theotokion in the Third Tone:*

Awed by the beauty of thy virginity and the exceeding radiance of thy purity, Gabriel called out unto thee, O Theotokos: What worthy hymn of praise can I offer unto thee?  And what shall I name thee?  I am in doubt and stand in awe.  Wherefore as commanded, I cry to thee: Rejoice, O Full of Grace.

Priest:  Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.

Choir:  Amen.

 

* Note: The Great Horologion, published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston states that “Awed by the Beauty…” is only sung on Saturday Evenings, or when there is a vigil.  However, the prayer book they also publish has this as a standard part of Small Compline as used for private evening prayers.  It is also in The Service of the Akathist Hymn, which is used on the Friday evenings of Great Lent.  Alternatively, the Great Horologion states that on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, instead of Awed by the Beauty:

Tone 1: On Seeing Thine unjust slaughter, O Christ, Thy pure Mother cried in grief: O most sweet Child, how is it that Thou diest lawlessly?  How is it that Thou, Who hast suspended all the earth upon the flood of waters, art now Thyself suspended from the Tree?  O most merciful Benefactor, do not leave me, Thy Mother and handmaid, alone.

But on all other days (aside from the evenings of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) the Great Horologion calls for this Theotokion:

Tone 5: Under thy compassion do we flee, O Theotokos; disdain not our prayers in times of affliction; but do thou rescue us from perils, O only pure one, O only blessed one.  (The Great Horologion, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, Mass: 1997, p. 233)

 

Return to the Liturgical Text Main Index