Compline

(Lat. completorium). The last hour of prayer in the Daily Office. It was established in the West by Benedict in his monastic rule, providing a retiring office for religious communities later than Vespers (Evensong), the public evening service of the church. It included various psalms appropriate to the time of day, and a later addition outside the monasteries was the canticle Nunc dimittis, or Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32), which had been used at Vespers (Hesperinon) in the East since the fourth century. In compiling his evening office for the Book of Common Prayer, Cranmer made use of this, and other parts of Compline from the Sarum breviary, including the collect, “Lighten our darkness.” The Eastern Compline is the Apodeipnon.