Join in with the daily office of the Holy Celtic Church
Just click on the picture of the chapel and enjoy our audio and meditation.
COMPLINE – Night Prayer
Within monastic communities Compline is traditionally the last of the prescribed offices of the day – the completion of a daily cycle of organised prayer. The full cycle being: VIGILS – the Night Office – usually at the end of the night, just before dawn: MATINS – the sunrise office: LAUDS – Morning Prayer; PRIME – the first hour (6am): TERCE – the third hour (9am): SEXT – the sixth hour (noon); NONE; the ninth hour (3pm): VESPERS – Evening Prayer or Evensong: finally, COMPLINE – the Night Prayer. Few communities observe this complete cycle now; although many do keep a modified form of it. In the Order of Dionysis and Paul, Compline serves as an evening devotion, at the heart of which rests a period of prolonged meditation and contemplation.
Ceremony of Spiritual Communion
A ceremony was written in 1939 by the Reverend Dennis Green, an early member of the World Congress of Faiths, and then Prior of the Order. The ceremony was designed to be a focal point for people of different faiths and convictions to join together in Prayer and Meditation. It is a good introduction to group devotion, especially for people encountering spiritually quickening ceremonies for the first time. It gently elevates the consciousness of participants and introduces them to the experience of the numinous.
LECTIO DIVINA – Divine Reading
Lectio Divina is one of Christianity’s oldest methods of prayer. It was used in the desert communities of the Levant during the first few centuries of the Christian era, and was embodied in the work of the Pseudo-Dionysius, particularly in his book On The Divine Names. It was also enshrined in the Rule of St. Benedict, and became a distinctive feature of monastic life.
Designed to be used by both individuals and groups, Lectio Divina consists of the slow repetitive reading of a passage of scripture, followed by meditating upon its significance. Traditionally, the reading, termed LECTIO, is read aloud with the emphasis placed upon the act of listening; the text is repeated continually until the passage is known ‘off by heart’. In a group setting one person reads whilst everyone else listens attentively, fully engaging with the reading; repeating the words softly under their breath, as it were.
After a given period of time the reading stops and a period of reflecting upon the nature and significance of the passage takes place. This pondering upon the words of the sacred text is called MEDITATIO, that is, meditation. The movement of the will in response to such reflections is known as ORATIO, and often results in the spontaneous outpouring of inspired writing or other forms of creative expression. As the ORATIO subsides, the soul often becomes very calm and experiences a state of profound peace. In attending to that ‘Peace’ the soul may discover that it is resting in the ‘Presence of God’, a term that defies further explanation. This state is known as CONTEMPLATIO – Contemplation. Lectio Divina is not a pleasure ride, quite the opposite, it is a labourious undertaking requiring the full attention of the soul and may cause a surprising amount of discomfort. It is consequently not an obligatory discipline for Order members but is undertaken voluntarily .