Within monastic communities Compline is traditionally the last of the prescribed offices of the day – the completion of a daily cycle of organised prayer. The full cycle being: VIGILS – the Night Office – usually at the end of the night, just before dawn: MATINS – the sunrise office: LAUDS – Morning Prayer; PRIME – the first hour (6am): TERCE – the third hour (9am): SEXT – the sixth hour (noon); NONE; the ninth hour (3pm): VESPERS – Evening Prayer or Evensong: finally, COMPLINE – the Night Prayer. Few communities observe this complete cycle now; although many do keep a modified form of it. In the Order of Dionysis and Paul, Compline serves as an evening devotion, at the heart of which rests a period of prolonged meditation and contemplation.
Ceremony of Spiritual Communion
A ceremony was written in 1939 by the Reverend Dennis Green, an early member of the World Congress of Faiths, and then Prior of the Order. The ceremony was designed to be a focal point for people of different faiths and convictions to join together in Prayer and Meditation. It is a good introduction to group devotion, especially for people encountering spiritually quickening ceremonies for the first time. It gently elevates the consciousness of participants and introduces them to the experience of the numinous.