Second Sunday after Easter (and Compline, Pt I)

The Introit (Ps. 32:5-6) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps.32: 1) Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous: praise is comely for the upright. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat The earth is full…

The Collect    O God, who by the humility of Your Son, did lift up a fallen world, grant unending happiness to Your faithful: that those whom You have snatched from the perils of endless death, You may cause to rejoice in everlasting joys. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

 The Epistle (1 Peter 2: 21-25) Dearly beloved, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow His steps who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Who when He was reviled, did not revile: when He suffered, He threatened not, but delivered Himself to him that judged Him unjustly: who His own self bore our sins in His body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live in justice; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going stray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.

Alleluia           Alleluia, alleluia, (Luke 24: 35) The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread. Alleluia. V. (John 10: 14) I am the good Shepherd: and I know my sheep, and mine know Me. Alleluia.

 The Gospel (John 10 : 11–16) At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flies: and the wolf catches and scatters the sheep: and the hireling flees, because he is a hireling, and he has no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

 Offertory        O God, my God, for You do I watch at break of day: and in Your Name I will lift up my hands, alleluia.

 The Secret      May this holy offering, O Lord, always bring to us Your healing blessing: that what it represents in a Mystery, it may accomplish with power. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end.

Preface of Easter It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise You, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who has taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying has destroyed our death: and by rising again has restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Your glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…

Communion   (John 10: 14) I am the good Shepherd, alleluia: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion         Grant unto us, we beseech You, almighty God, that having received the grace of a new life, we may ever glory in Your gift.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Ghost …


It is a very good thing indeed before turning in to bed at night. There is a beautiful Catholic prayer service called “Compline” (or “completion” of the day’s duties). Some of it is unchanging, being the same each and every night. Some of it changes from day to day. It ends with an “anthem” or hymn to Our Lady. There are four of these, and they rotate through four seasons of the year. I shall set it out as if it were being said in a church. If you are saying it alone, say all parts. Here is how Compline commences:

The lector chants, “Your blessing please, my lord.” (This is addressed to the presiding priest.) The priest replies: “May the all-powerful Lord grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.” They respond “Amen.” There follows the short lesson, which is 1 Peter 5:8-9: “Brethren: Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, remaining strong in faith.” The response is “Deo gratias,” “Thanks be to God.” The priest then says “Our help is in the name of the Lord,” and the people respond “Who made heaven and earth.”

Then those present make an examination of conscience, and say the “Confiteor” (I confess to almighty God …”) As in the Mass, the priest replies: “May almighty God be merciful to you, forgive your sins, and bring you to everlasting life.” They respond “Amen.” He then says: “May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins.” They respond “Amen.”

Then there is a responsorial chant: “Make us turn to You, O God our saviour.” The response: “And avert your wrath from us.” “

“O God, come to my assistance.” The response: “Lord, make haste to help me.” Then they say the “Glory Be,” which they finish with “Alleluia.”

After this they come to the psalms of the day. These change over each of the seven days of the week. When the psalms are completed, we come to what is called “The Common of Compline.” It begins with the hymn “Te lucis ante terminum” (Before the end of the light, we ask of you …). These are its words in an English translation:

  1. Before the end of light, we ask of You, Creator of the World, that You will be present and be our guardian, for You are merciful (clement).
  2. May nightmares be absent, and phantasms of the night. Check our Enemy, lest our bodies be polluted.
  3. Be present most pious Father, and Your only Son Jesus Christ, equal (to You), with the Spirit, the Paraclete, reigning through all ages. Amen.

to be continued

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