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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 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.