Praying Aidan's Compline this Advent

The Celtic Cross at St. Aidan's Lindesfarne
Compline reminds us to face our fears, give thanks for protection from harm, and pray for a restful sleep and good dreams, releasing our trust to the Almighty.

Kenneth V. Peterson, Prayer as Night Falls.

With all the darkness in the world, how do we sleep well at night? How about replacing an anxious hearing of the late news and a rehashing of problems- with- praying the Compline?
 
In Compline, we get to choose trust over fear and anxiety. No, the idea is not to get a measurable of "better sleep" over taking pills, etc.  But think of this: when Compline is used in monastic communities, it is the last word spoken or heard until daybreak. Each night, we too, can let the last words on our mind be the words of Compline.  
 
A better order for corporate Compline is here. The prayer below is The Compline of Aidan adapted for private use, from the Northumbria Community.


 O Christ, Son of the living God,
may Your holy angels guard our sleep,
may they watch over us as we rest
and hover around our beds.
 
Let them reveal to us in our dreams
visions of Your glorious truth,
O High Prince of the universe,
O High Priest of the mysteries.
 
May no dreams disturb our rest
and no nightmares darken our dreams.
May no fears or worries delay
our willing, prompt repose.
May the virtue of our daily work
hallow our nightly prayers.
May our sleep be deep and soft
so our work be fresh and hard.
 
I will lie down and sleep in peace
for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
My dear ones, O God, bless Thou and keep,
in every place where they are.
 
 Into Your hands I commit my spirit;
I give it to You with all the love of my heart.
 How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
 
I make the cross of Christ upon my breast,
over the tablet of my hard heart,
and I beseech the Living God of the universe –
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.
 
Christ without sin, Christ of wounds,
I am placing my soul and my body
under Thy guarding this night,
Christ of the poor, Christ of tears.
Thy cross be my shielding this night,
O Thou Son of tears, of the wounds, of the piercing.
 
I am going now into the sleep:
O be it in Thy dear arm’s keep,
O God of grace, that I shall awake.
 
My Christ! my Christ!
my shield, my encircler,
each day, each night,
each light, each dark.
 Be near me, uphold me,
my treasure, my triumph.
 
Circle me, Lord,
keep protection near
and danger afar.
Circle me, Lord,
keep light near
and darkness afar.
Circle me, Lord,
keep peace within;
keep evil out.
 
The peace of all peace
be mine this night
 in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

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