I haven’t posted much along the theme of Advent during the season this year… quite a departure from what I did last year during Advent. It being already well into the evening now (at least where I’m posting from), I thought I would share some excerpts from the Compline for the third week of Advent taken from my book, That You Might Believe: Praying Advent with the Gospel of John. The book includes some original prayers and many others taken or adapted from a variety of sources, as noted below.
Cause us, O Lord our God, to lie down in peace,
and raise us up, O our King, unto life.
Spread over us the tabernacle of thy peace;
direct us aright through thine own good counsel;
save us for thy name’s sake;
be thou a shield about us;
remove from us every enemy,
pestilence, sword, famine, and sorrow;
remove also the adversary
from before us and from behind us.
O shelter us beneath the shadow of they wings;
for thou, O God, art our Guardian
and our Deliverer;
yea, thou, O God,
art a gracious and merciful King;
and guard our going out and our coming in
unto life and unto peace
from this time forth
— Adapted from Prayer Book for Jewish Sailors and Soldiers, 1914
The night is dark,
and like the watchman,
my soul waits for you, Lord.
Even more than those
who watch for the morning,
for just a glimpse of the coming dawn.
Longing more than those
who long for the coming day,
do I wait for the Lord.
My soul waits,
and in his Word
do I hope.
— from Psalm 130
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.
— John Mason Neale (1818-1866)
in the Book of Common Prayer
May the Light of lights come
to my dark heart from Thy place;
May the Spirit’s wisdom come
To my heart’s tablet from my Saviour.
Be the peace of the Spirit mine this night,
Be the peace of the Son mine this night,
Be the peace of the Father mine this night,
The peace of all peace be mine this night,
Each morning and evening of my life.
— Carmina Gadelica
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.