Ad Completorium, "at the completion of the day". For the members of a Christian community it is the final service of prayer for the day. The darkness presses around the gathering of brothers and sisters and within the quiet candlelight the community again addresses their Lord. They worship the one who has come to meet with them in this last moment of the day.
      The service plays with the images of light and darkness. "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." The darkness represents this "shadow land" of existence infused with the powers of evil. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers in heavenly places". Outside there gathers the seething mass of humanity, blind, corrupted. For this moment within the shadows, the powers of darkness seem to reign.
      "In him was life, and that life was the light of men." In the distance we see the dawning of a new day. The brilliance of eternity radiates into this passing age. Christ, the light, has come to be with us, is with us now. Christ, the light, is coming in glory and the darkness is subsumed by his radiance. The victory is won. Those who huddle in the light, they have the right to be children of God. "Children not born of natural descent, nor of human will, but born of God." So, the little community gathers in the light of Christ and stands assured of the passing darkness and the dawning light.
The Liturgy
      A prayer for God's blessing on the night and our own end - may it be perfect.
      A Pause for self examination, shaped in the form of the Kyrie Eleison. Three elements of our faith in Christ are included. i) He calls for and accepts true repentance. ii) He saves those who call upon him - "heals". iii) He ministers to us in our daily walk - "intercedes for us".
      Responsory.. This prayer is in the shape of the Prayer of Preparation from the Communion service.
      The Candlelight hymn - Phos Hilaron. This is probably the oldest surviving Christian hymn. It dates from the 2nd century. It had its origin in the Greek Church and was sung at the lighting of the lamps in the evening service. It was also used in the family home at the time of candle-lighting. It is still sung in the Greek Church at Vespers. The hymn is addressed to Christ. He is the gladdening and holy Light, the glory of God and the giver of life to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, we offer praise as the evening lights shine around us.
      Psalm eg. PSALM 134. This is a liturgical evening Psalm written for Temple worship. It begins with an invitation to give praise to God by the lifting of hands and by blessing God. To "bless" is to express praise, adoration and thanksgiving through our voice to the living God. The psalm concludes with a benediction which is a prayer to God that he might bless his people. For God to do that from "Zion" is for him to do it from his earthly dwelling place, ie. from his throne in the Temple at Jerusalem. His throne is now with us when we meet.
      Bible readings followed by the sermon.
      Nunc Dimittus. sung as a prayer. These words of Simeon in the Temple include a prayer of blessing to the baby Jesus spoken to Mary. Simeon's prayer recognizes in Jesus the long awaited Messiah and thus the salvation of the Gentiles as well as Israel. He therefore asks to be dismissed from his duty, for the dawning light of salvation had arrived. The "consolation of Israel" was before his eyes.
      The Antiphon. This traditional antiphon "Preserve us" is said after the canticle. Said gently.
      Intercession using "Another Order of Service" form.
      Prayers for the night. Two are printed in the service sheet. Others may be used.
      Versicle, said strongly.
      Blessing. The service concludes with the Blessing said as printed, Numbers:6:24-26.

Prayer at the end of the Day

A ministry of approach to God
      The Lord be with you.
        And also with you.
      Let us pray. The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen.
      Almighty God, our heavenly Father
      we have sinned against you
      in thought, and word, and deed,
      and in what we have failed to do.
      Have mercy on us,
      forgive us all that is past,
      and grant that we may serve you
      and live a new life to your glory;
      through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Kyrie Eleison. Pause - reflection. Scripture may be read.
      Lord Jesus, you came to call sinners to repentance,
        have mercy on us.
      Lord Jesus, sent to heal those who are burdened in soul,
        have mercy on us.
      Lord Jesus, now seated at the Father's right hand to intercede for us,
        have mercy on us.
      If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the perfect offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John 2:1,2.
      Our help is in the name of the Lord,
        who made heaven and earth.
        Glory to God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
        as in the beginning, so now, and for ever.
        Praise the Lord!

NIGHT HYMN Phos Hilaron, or alternate Hymn
      Hail, gladdening Light, of hi|s pure glory poured
      Who is the immortal Father | heavenly, blest,
      Holiest of Holies | Jesus Christ, our Lord.
      Now we are come to the s|un's hour of rest,
      The lights of evening | round us shine,
      We hymn the Father, Son, and | Holy Spirit divine.
      Worthiest art thou at a|ll times to be sung
      With unde|filed tongue,
      Son of our God | giver of life alone!
      Therefore in all the world thy glories, Lord, they own.

EVENING PSALM An appropriate Psalm.
CANTICLE Psalm 134
      Come bless the Lord all you | servants of the | Lord:
      you that by night stand in the | house of our | God.
      Lift up your hands toward the holy place and | bless the | Lord.
      May the Lord bless you from Zion
        the Lord who made | heaven and | earth. Glo|ry to | God: Father, Son and | Holy | Spirit;
      As in the be|ginning, so | now: and for ever. | A|men.

BIBLE READING Appropriate scripture.
CANTICLE. The Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)
      Now, Lord, you let your servant | go in | peace:
        your | word has | been ful|filled.
      My own eyes have | seen the ⋅ sal|vation:
        which you have prepared in the | sight of | ev'ry | people
      A light to re|veal you ⋅ to the | nations:
        and the | glory ⋅ of your | people | Israel.
      Glo|ry to | God: Father | Son and | Holy | Spirit:
        As in the be|ginning so | now: and for | ever | A|men.

      Save us, Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we are asleep
        That we may keep watch with Christ and rest with him in peace.
      Lord, have mercy on us.
        Christ, have mercy on us.
      Lord, have mercy on us.
      Our Father in heaven,
      hallowed be your Name,
      your kingdom come,
      your will be done
        on earth as in heaven.
      Give us today our daily bread.
      Forgive us our sins
        as we forgive those who sin against us.
      Lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.
      For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours
        now and for ever. Amen.

Jesus said: "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever - the Spirit of truth...." John.14:16-18.
      In your mercy, Lord, dispel the darkness of this night. Let your household so sleep in peace that at the dawn of a new day we may with joy waken in your name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
      Lord, be our guest of our homes; keep far from them all the deceits of the evil one. May your holy angels watch over us as guardians of our peace. And may your blessing be always upon us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
      As watchmen look for the morning so we wait eagerly for you, O Lord. Come with the dawning of the day and make yourself known to us for you are our God for ever and ever. Amen.
      Come, O Spirit of God, and make within us your dwelling place and home. May our darkness be dispelled by your light, and our troubles calmed by your peace; my all evil be redeemed by your love, all pain transformed through the suffering of Christ, and ally dying glorified by his risen life. Amen. (APBA)
      We give thanks, O God, for the gift to the world of our Redeemer; as we sing of your glory at the close of the day, so may we know his presence in our hearts; who is our Saviour and our God, now and for ever. Amen. (APBA)
      We praise and thank you, O God our Father through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him you have enlightened us by revealing the light that never fades, for dark death has been destroyed and radiant life is everywhere restored. What was promised is fulfilled: We have been joined to God, through renewed life in the Spirit of the risen Lord. Glory and praise to you, our Father, through Jesus your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Spirit, in the kingdom of light eternal, for ever and ever. Amen. ( APBA - Service of Light)
      Let us praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
        Let us praise and magnify him for ever.
      The almighty and merciful God preserve us and give us his blessing.
      The Lord bless you and keep you.
      The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you.
      The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace,
      both now and evermore. Amen. Numbers 6:24-26.

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