Compline for Holy Thursday
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 262
    This has been proposed by our liturgy committee, as a way of bringing the adoration period to an end on Holy Thursday. Has anyone any experience of it? or any advice to offer? It would be in English, I suppose.
    I've looked up the order of service and find it to be a simple short ceremony, perhaps with an opportunity for the choir to do a setting of the Nunc Dimittis.
    If it goes well it may be something we could do again on other occasions.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,910
    Compline (especially sung Compline) is always appropriate and indeed is appreciated in many circles where it is practiced (as well as longed for by others where it is rarely celebrated, if at all).

    In addition to singing a choral setting of the Nunc dimittis (whether in Latin or in English), it is also appropriate to sing the short resposory In manus tuas, Domine (again, either in Latin or in English).

    YouTube recording of my In manus tuas, Domine.

    In manus tuas, Domine, SATB score at CPDL.

    YouTube recording of my Nunc dimittis.

    Nunc dimittis, SATB score atCPDL.

    Note: ATBB scores also available at CPDL.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,013
    Yes, the standard Divine Office version worked well when I was at St George's Cathedral, Southwark. We always used Now thank we all our God as the hymn, because the congregation can easily sing it.
    We kept watching going till quarter to midnight and then had night prayer. Numbers would run down rapidly after Mass, to about half a dozen, and then build up again as people returned from supper, to maybe 20 after 11.15pm (plus clergy). The nominal Catholic parish population is 3500, Mass attendance 1500 half of whom are not local residents. To get this effect you probably need to build a tradition gradually, Westminster don't do it.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 262
    This is encouraging, thank you. It's good to think we might be starting a tradition.
    One of my brothers is a priest in the north of England, and at a previous parish had candlelit Compline (not sung, sadly) on Fridays in Lent. The majority of the attendees were Anglicans, led by their curate.
    I like the idea of doing the In Manus tuas, but the Holy Thursday Compline as found on Universalis, has a different short responsory:

    Christ humbled himself for us and, in obedience, accepted death.

    Would it be possible to substitute In manus tuas? or is there a setting of the official responsory?
  • At least three churches doing the OF around where I am close with compline; in fact, the seminarians of the diocese seem to have a tradition of going to one of these churches for the compline at 11 o'clock, and my family generally goes to this before we go back to our EF church where adoration goes until midnight.

    Anyhow, this church does their 11 o'clock Holy Thursday OF compline exactly the same way every year, so watch what you pick - you might get stuck with it.

    [E.g. just go with Gregorian psalm tones from the start.]

    I would think your process would be: find out the prescribed Latin / Gregorian chants for this day's Compline, and if there are still options at that level, which options are the best traditionally. Then, once you have this paradigm straight, see how close you can stick to it for your situation doing mostly English.

    At any rate, that's how I would probably approach the question.

    [Though polyphony is not much on my radar.]

    Anyhow, there seem to be a couple of specifically chant books out there which would probably cover this, such as THIS.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 265
    @Viola "Would it be possible to substitute In manus tuas?"
    No. I believe (and hope) this is covered by GILH 247.

    "or is there a setting of the official responsory?"
    It's actually an antiphon. You can find it e.g. at gregobase: Christus factus est.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Viola
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,910
    @Viola. There is not short responsory on Maundy Thursday. But there is the antiphon Christus factus est... that you reference. Maybe one of the following will do?

    Jacob Handl: Christus factus est (two short settings).
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,013
    I would certainly stick with the Christus factus est since it is peculiar to the Triduum. But as it also the gospel acclamation on Palm Sunday in a different translation, perhaps you could use the same setting, if this works when truncated.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,250
    Our Parish in London always celebrates Compline, at 11.30pm on Maunday Thursday, although adoration has continued all night on many occasions. We have been doing this for at least 10 years maybe 15+...

    While this is an OF parish with an EF community, the parish celebrations always use the EF for the Divine Office.

    Of course Compline (and the other hours) for the Triduum are different from the usual Compline (at least in the EF). We follow the Tradition of reciting the texts for Compline and Vespers (recto tono), although melodies do exsist and have been in use at various times in Church history.
    Thanked by 2Viola StimsonInRehab
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 262
    Thank you so much for the useful comments.
    Interesting to see the times mentioned_ 11 30, 12, etc. Our liturgy group suggested 10pm, which seems rather wimpish in the light of what other people do.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,501
    Wimpish? - or practical in the sense that singers voices tend to be in their trough during times when they are usually in bed (diurnal congestion cycle....) - unless you are blessed with a schola/choir full of night owls.
    Thanked by 2Viola CHGiffen
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 262
    That's a useful thought. Worth consulting the singers; maybe the night owls will self-select.
    Though as the original intention of the LitCom was (I think) to have Compline as the close of adoration on Holy Thursday 10pm does seem a bit early.
  • We have a simple Compline (quite early - at 9.30): choir stays behind, but it is very much a congregational service. A couple of years ago I composed some hymn words for it:

    Opening hymn:

    1. From your Last Supper, Lord, we come,
    from sharing bread and wine –
    your very Body and your Blood:
    Passover’s victory sign.

    2. At that great Feast the Master served,
    the greatest was the least:
    by this example may our care
    for others be increased.

    3. An evening vigil, Lord, we keep;
    we scatter not, but stay.
    And with you on Mount Olivet,
    ‘God’s will be done,’ we pray.

    4. For it was God’s mysterious will
    to offer you, his Son,
    to desolation and to death
    that for us life be won.

    (which we sing to the tune 'St Bernard')

    and a metrical Nunc Dimittis (which we sing to 'Finlandia'):

    1. “At last now, Master, you have let your servant
    depart in peace, according to your word;
    for with my eyes salvation I have witnessed,
    which for all peoples, Lord, you have prepared:
    a light of revelation to all nations
    and for the glory of your Israel.”

    2. Glory to God, the Father and Creator,
    to Christ, his Son, a Light for all the world,
    and to the sanctifying Breath, the Spirit:
    all praise and honour to the Three-in-One:
    glory and honour, as in the beginning,
    may there be now, and for eternity.

    I make no claims for their literary quality; if you're desperate, feel free to use them.

    Thanked by 1Viola
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 162
    Hello - sorry to bring up an old thread. We are thinking about doing Compline this year on Holy Thursday and I was wondering how this went / if anyone else had any thoughts on it.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 262
    Following the helpful suggestions received on this thread we sang Compline at 10pm on Holy Thursday 2017. It was prefaced by the small choir singing Padre Martini's 'In monte Oliveti' then we sang Compline itself in English to Gregorian psalm tones. The cathedral was in darkness except for the Altar of Repose, where Compline took place by candlelight, led by the Bishop.
    People liked it and have asked for it again this year. We hope to do the same again, with Handl's setting of the short antiphon 'Christus Factus est, and Croce's motet 'O vos omnes' sung beforehand. Personally I found it very prayerful and moving, well worth attempting.
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 162
    Awesome! Thanks so much that really helps.

    One question: was it used as the closing of adoration or just prayed and adoration continued after?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,250
    Our OF parish has for at least the last 10 years EF compline, at 11.30pm this on some years closes the adorations, but on other we have had all night adoration.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 262
    The original plan was for it to close Adoration at 11 30. But some of us live out in the sticks and the weather here (northern Scotland) is not the best, so caution triumphed and it was fixed at 10, with Adoration continuing until midnight, presumably for those who live locally. It was then decided that Adoration would go on all night anyway. A further consideration, expressed by Liam in the original thread, is that people's voices might not be at their best late at night. How do you find this, tomjaw?