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Compline and Evening Worship: St. Martin and All Saints

November 12, 2020



Gathering Prayer

The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.

Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the Maker of heaven and earth.

Let us confess our sins to God.



Almighty God, we confess that we have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone.

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, forgive us all our offenses; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

May the Almighty God grant us forgiveness of all our sins, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


V: O Lord make speed to save us;
R: O Lord, make haste to help us.
V: Keep us, Lord, as the apple of your eye;
R: Hide us under the shadow of your wings.


Collect of the Day

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldst have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Meditation Poem on the Saints and Martyrs of a Nation

Stephen Spender, “I think continually of those who were truly great,” reprinted in Mark Pryce, ed., Literary Companion to the Festivals (London: Fortress, 2003), pp.141-142.



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.


Psalm 31      In te, Domine, speravi

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame: *
Deliver me in your righteousness.

Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
For the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.

Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.

Into your hands I commend my spirit, * for you have redeemed me,
O Lord, O God of truth.

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.


Meditation Poem on St. Martin of Tours (bishop, 4th century)

Thom Gunn, “St. Martin and the Beggar,” reprinted in Mark Pryce, ed., Literary Companion to the Festivals (London: Fortress, 2003), pp.143-144.


Scriptural Reflections

Lord, you are in the midst of us, and we are called by your Name:
Do not forsake us, O Lord our God.    Jeremiah 14:9,22

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.       Matthew 11:28-30


    1. V.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit;
    1. R.    For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
    1. V.    Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;
    1. R.    Hide us under the shadow of your wings.


Lord, have mercy.    Christ, have mercy.     Lord, have mercy.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven..

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil..

Officiant.   Lord, hear our prayer;
People.       And let our cry come to you.


Closing Collects

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Bidding Prayer and Blessing

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.


About Episcopal Worship and this Service

The Daily Office has two services for the close of day: Evening Prayer, or Vespers; and Compline, typically said just before one retires for the night. This evening’s services draws primarily from the latter, in keeping with the spirit of the times and the needs of God’s people in this time of uncertainty and division regarding the recent election in the United States.

We also add spiritual reflections from two 20th century poets on saints, including martyrs, from the recent or ancient past. The English poet Stephen Spender’s poem offers a meditation the people of faith who have gone before us, and the complex and intricate nature of their witness in our memory. The Anglo-American poet Thom Gunn offers his reflection on the famous tale of this early medieval saint and bishop, Martin of Tours, who famously, while riding about in cold, wet weather much like we have at this time of year, cut his cloak in half and gave one half to a starving, nearly naked beggar who would probably have died of hypothermia without it.

Other scripture readings and the prayers come from The Holy Bible, The Book of Common Prayer and from Enriching Our Worship 1, 2, and 5. Links to them are listed below.

Resources (available for free online)

These resources contain the prayers and worship services used in The Episcopal Church and by Episcopalians in their daily devotions.


This source shows the readings assigned for use in Sunday worship and for daily office use for each day of the year, with links to online biblical texts.

The Revised Common Lectionary and Daily Office,


Links to church websites – National, Diocesan and our church’s website.

The Episcopal Church:

Episcopal News Service:

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington:

St. Mark’s, Fairland: