Candlelit Compline Service
by Lauri Cielo
Pine St & S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Our daily lives are full of activity and multi-tasking and hurrying. Come join us for a half hour of quiet and calm.
What is Compline? The service originated in southern Europe and the Middle East during the first 600 years of Christianity. The music for Compline is based on Roman chant and consists mostly of plainsong, with the incorporation of some polyphonic motets. The 30-minute service is sung seamlessly throughout with only a few spoken parts.
In keeping with the earliest practices of the monastic communities, Compline is offered at the end of the day as the quietness of evening settles over the hearts and minds of those gathered.
What can I expect? As you enter St. Peter’s Church, you will find a quiet and darkened church lit by candles. You’re joining other people for silence and interior reflection. Feel comfortable to make your own space and allow the ancient texts and chants to enfold you. At the close of the service, the choir retires quietly and the people depart in silence just as they arrived.
Who is welcome? People from all ages and walks of life have been drawn to Compline, especially in recent decades. All are welcome—the hip and no-so-hip, religious and religion-averse. Dress comfortably. Come as you are. Allow the ancient texts and chants to enfold you, and depart renewed and comforted.
Listen to a one-minute clip of St. Peter’s Compline Choir: