The Office of Compline for July 22, 2012

8th Sunday after Pentecost

Conductor: Jason Anderson
Reader: Joel Matter
Cantor: Tommy Adams

ORISON: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23, Bobby McFerren [b. 1950])

PSALM: 15 (plainsong, Tone III Ending 4)

HYMN: “Peace, perfect peace” (Song 46, Orlando Gibbons [1583 – 1625])

NUNC DIMITTIS: (anonymous setting arranged by Bernarr Rainbow, Tone IV)

ANTHEM: Jerusalem (Charles Hubert Hastings Parry [1848 – 1918], arranged by Nathan Jensen [b. 1968])

One thought on “The Office of Compline for July 22, 2012

  1. Rev. Ellie McLaughlin, Ph.D.

    In a small, granite century old parish church in Berlin, NH, a now dead paper mill town, Compline has been sung Sunday evenings, according to the order of the Book of Common Prayer. The Parish Musician, Susan Ferre, an organist and choral director of national eminence, using local forces. Everything was intoned but the confession and the final prayer…”Keep watch, dear Lord…” I found it most disconcerting that various liturgical pieces were introduced, some from the Evening Office, with no liturgical rational of tradition or ‘flow’. Sometimes the form of language was interestingly novel…a female “Good Shepherd”; if I recall correctly, a reference to the Holy Trinity in which the Third Person of the Godhead lost ‘her’ traditional naming…then we reverted to “Holy Ghost”. This lack of consistency in language and of ritual order without reference to the cadences of the Prayer Book is not, I think conducive to converting worship. The guitar arrangement of “Jerusalem” I found not musically effective, given the monumentality of that tune and its words, whether English or Hymnal 1982. Interesting descant for Gibbons lovely Song 46. But, in general, seems as if you would do better with Evensong which gives more scope for a good choir. The power of Compline is in its simplicity and quieting focus. Our liturgical and musical Tradition as Anglicans is a precious gift to the world…but it is so only as its primary purpose is honored…the praise and glory of God…It seems as if your very fine attempt at ‘evangelical outreach’ with ritual and music would be better served if you followed the BCP for either Compline or EP and were clear…this is not a concert but first our offering to God—a thanks-giving in which all participate by singing or listening. There was just too much in no effective order…lost the rhythm of the liturgy. Less is more. But thank you–much admiration for the work, skill and devotion here offered. Faithfully, Eleanor McLaughlin+, former Seminary professor of Church History and retired old chorister and parish priest…Ordained 1981 at SSJE Mission Church of St. John the Evangelist, Bowdoin St., Boston, MA where I learned to sing the Liturgy I now celebrate weekly at the local State Prison with a very engaged congregation. Alas, wish we had your guitar man!

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