As I’ve shared these Hope for the Journey offerings over the last 9 months or so, during the pandemic, I hope they have offered you a bit of nourishment as we face our anxieties, fears, frustrations, loneliness, overwhelmedness, and confusion. These have been such challenging times for us. I don’t know if it has been a conscious thing for me or not, but I have found myself going to the writings and videos of people that have rooted me over the years. Some of my offerings in this series have been from those people, and I’ve discovered that they still do keep me rooted.
I’m finding, in my too-many-to-count Zoom meetings, that I look to use the virtual background option that seems to calm my soul. Many of my backgrounds are pictures I have taken of significant places in my life. They may not have any significance to others in the Zoom meeting, but they serve as a grounding presence as I go from meeting to meeting, reminding me of my “background” and what has brought me to this place in my life. Our background shapes and forms us. And while the picture may be virtual, the past experiences of those places are very real. And for that I am thankful.
One strong memory from the background of my life is the liturgy of Compline celebrated in two monastic communities: the Trappist Monastery of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, and Mount Saviour Monastery in Pine City, New York.
This week, I would like to offer you a resource for prayer. Many of you gather with us for the Facebook livestream of Sunday liturgy. Many as well gather for Morning Prayer Monday through Friday. I would like to offer you a link to the liturgy of Compline. Some of us are morning people, some are night time people. But in the Daily Office, which is also called the Liturgy of the Hours, there are moments of prayer offered throughout the day from when we awake in the morning until we prepare for bed.
The liturgy of Compline is the final prayer of the day. It is found on page 127 of the Book of Common Prayer, which we can of course pray anytime. The link below will take you to an audio recording of Compline as it is prayed by the Community of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastic community in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I offer it to you and encourage you to consider it for yourself as a way to carve out some time that will hopefully offer you some calm and reflection at the end of a day.
– Fr. George