Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Night prayer

is the last “hour” of the Liturgy of the Hours (it is also known as “Compline”).

The Daughters of St. Paul single volume Christian Prayer: the Liturgy of the Hours includes all of Night Prayer. has substantial parts of Night Prayer online.

(UPDATE - The complete texts for all of the Liturgy of the Hours for each day [U.S. edition] are available at

Night Prayer is a spiritually moving and enriching way to end the day. It is a good habit to take up just before going to bed.

It begins in the same way as the other hours

God, come to my assistance
Lord, make haste to help me

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Amen. Alleluia.

Then, before the hymn, there is a silent examination of conscience: a reflection on the words and deeds of the day and on our need for God’s grace and mercy. This need is then expressed aloud in some appropriate way, such as an Act of Contrition or the Confiteor.

After the hymn, one or two psalms and their antiphons are recited and there is a short reading that varies by weekday, always followed by the same responsorial.

Into your hands, Lord, I comment my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I comment my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I comment my spirit.

The Gospel Canticle, the exclamation of the old holy man Simeon upon seeing the infant Jesus, and its antiphon follow.

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep; that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in His peace.

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace.
Your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
you have prepared in the sight of every people:
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

A closing prayer follows and then the blessing.

May the all powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.

A Marian hymn is recited or sung and all depart in silence.

The day is over.