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The short service of Compline is based on the closing time of prayer in the Daily Office, or monastic cycle of prayer. It is observed in monasteries around 9:00 PM when darkness has fallen and bedtime is near. The January 5 edition will be a special “Epiphany” service featuring a dessert reception at 8 PM, a performance of brass, organ and percussion music at 8:30, followed by the choral Compline service which runs from 9-9:30 PM. The brass ensemble will include over a dozen of Central PA’s finest brass players along with percussion and organ under the direction of Dr. William Wright. Between brass pieces, parishioner Kim Lemon will share some of the biblical context for what Epiphany is all about. The event is free and open to the public.
The thoughts that inspire the prayers during Compline are the need for divine forgiveness and protection against the powers of darkness. Prayers for peace and rest are sung or chanted as night falls by an ensemble of approximately 25 accomplished a capella singers drawn from around the Central Pennsylvania region.