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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Office of Compline
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This little book is comes in handy if you want to begin Chanting Night Prayer (Compline) of the current Liturgy of the Hours. It has the Latin to the left and the English to the right. Also it has a small hymn section and Marian Antiphons.

For those who are just getting into Chanting and want an excellent book for Chanting Night Prayer in English this is the way to go. The Chants in English are simple English tones that are also used in the Mundelein Psalter (which has both Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer included). The Latin translation uses the traditional Latin tones which are a bit more complex for beginners but not too difficult for those who already know some Gregorian Chant.

I definitely recommend it to those who want to begin praying nightly prayer in a new and more prayerful way!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the best introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours I've ever found, even compared to the free online Universalis and Divine Office. It has generally clear instructions on what to do when, including a overall posture guideline for communal prayer.

There are three issues, but I didn't think they were major enough to dock stars:
1. The typesetting of the psalmody is not always clear, especially with flex verses.
2. They didn't include a chant setting for the Confiteor, just a red instruction for an examination of conscience
3. The Marian antiphons are only set to music in Latin. There are English translations, but no music.

Other than this, it's just wonderful and I wish there was an Office of Lauds and an Office of Vespers as companions.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful introduction to the Divine Office; however, Amazon only lists two sellers. One is selling the book for nearly $90 and another is selling it for over $300! I would suggest going to Ignatius Press because it's available there for $16.11.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book, encouraged in its production by Cardinal Burke and undertaken by Institute of Sacred Music in the archdiocese of which he was formerly the head, is a wonderful way to learn how to sing the office of Compline (night prayer). The advantages of this book are many: a theological preface to the night office by Card. Burke, a set of rubrics for those praying, Gregorian chant settings in both Latin and English, and hymns in both Latin and English. I have had the pleasure of knowing one of the English hymn translators, Dylan Schrader, who at the time of publication was a transitional deacon. His translation of *Iesu, redemptor saeculi* is superb. The English used for the Office of Compline is drawn from the Liturgy of the Hours (1974) and other ICEL mainstays, while the Latin is from Liturgia Horarum (1987). While comparing the two languages helps one understand the Latin, beware the truncating and flattening tendencies of the English translation. (This is a general problem with the LH until it is re-translated using a method similar to the recent revision of the Roman Missal.) But for most folk's purposes, the book will work very well.

The chants are appropriate to the liturgical season and day of the week, allowing one to enter into the mysteries of our Lord's life and the life of the Church in a deeper way. For example, the solemn chant for Friday (Ps 87 [88]) reminds the singer of the Lord's passion and death. Likewise, I have found that the celebration of the Lord's resurrection becomes all the more joyous with the elevated chant of the vigil and night psalms of Sunday. The *Nunc dimmitis* is hauntingly beautiful and the closing prayers of the office help one to commend himself to God right before going to sleep. The Marian antiphons to close the office are sublime and a dignified way to honor our Lady throughout the year.

My wife and I often pray together before bed using this book and would recommend it to others. We began with the English, since the tones are easier to learn than the Latin, but increasingly we have been using the Latin side. It helps that she is musically inclined! Others may need help from friends or clerics who know something about chant.

There are some embarrassing typesetting errors in the book, which surprised me given Ignatius's otherwise excellent publishing. One example from the English side is the accidental repetition of a verse of Psalm 133 (134) for Compline on the vigil of Sunday/Solemnities (p. 33). Examples from the Latin side include the occasional omission of bold print for a syllable in a psalm verse to indicate chant notation (e.g. v. 14 on p. 56 and v. 1 on p. 78) and the sloppy pasting of a psalm text from ordinary time into the text for Paschaltide, thereby mangling the chant notation (e.g., p. 64). We were able to recognize what had happened and adjust our chant accordingly; you should be able to do so as well.
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on March 6, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The Liturgy of the Hours is a core Catholic mode of worship, but it isn't wonderfully accessible. The main books are very expensive and very hard to figure out. You can just buy them and know instantly how to do the Liturgy. You have to keep flipping back and forth, here a portion of the Ordinary, there a Psalm, everywhere some Hymnody. It is a little like Old MacDonald's farm when you are new, and flipping all around can be a pain.

This is only the office of prayer before sleep, however you want to name it---Compline is the formal name. The book is excellent. It presents the true, exact, correct prayers in the Latin and with the musical setting all in the same place (less flipping around). In verso, right on the adjacent page, you have the corresponding English text with similar appropriate music. So, if you want to sing the prayers in Latin, at least you will know more or less what the meaning of the words would be in English. If you prefer to sing it in English, it is perfectly available. It is impossible to edit this so that there is no flipping around, but the organization is as streamlined as possible, and the cues in the text make it as easy as possible to follow.

This is a very clean job. It's absolutely the real thing, and not some simplified or watered down or altered product (and there are such products around). It is arranged as conveniently and easily as possible. It will allow you to read or sing this beautiful prayer with as short a learning time as possible.

People who do not read music may find the old fashioned square note notation intimidating. People who read modern musical notation may find it even more confusing. This book uses the square note or neume notation, and it does so without any explanation or apology. People who want to do these prayers as songs and who have not learned the neume notations will need to study a little separately from this book. Fortunately, the notation is really very easy (easy enough to get by just by going up a little in pitch when you see the notes go up a little on the page). You can learn it in half an hour at any of several web sites. There are good little books explaining it, too. So, if you want to use a beautiful, very traditional, and somewhat formal way of prayer before you sleep, this is a very thoughtfully produced little prayer book. It is well made, well printed, and well bound. It doesn't get better than this.
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on January 14, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The Liturgy of the Hours, or Divine Office, is the Catholic Church's official way of providing structured prayer throughout the day. Each day is divided into segments called "hours," and each hour is assigned a portion of the Psalms along with hymns, responsories, and readings from Scripture. Clergy are bound to recite the entire Office, whether in private or public; laity are encouraged to recite whatever parts they can and wish to. The hour recited before going to sleep is commonly called "Compline," from the Latin phrase "ad completorium," or "at the completion [of the day]." Compline is the shortest and most accessible hour, the best place to start if you want to learn how the Liturgy of the Hours works.

I once had a long-stalled personal project to produce the equivalent of this book. I'm glad I didn't finish it, because Fr. Weber's work is superior to anything I could have done. Texts and chants are typeset beautifully, the edition is clearly laid out, and the binding is durable and attractive. I'm looking forward to incorporating chanted Compline into my family's prayer time once a week, or more often if circumstances permit.
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I use this during Adoration at my Church and it gives me another way of focusing on Adoration as when I was in the Seminary.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
have started listening to the broadcast latin compline on vatican radio but was struggling to follow the latin.
This is perfect for following the words.
Although the book doesn't offer any of the commonly used latin versions of the penitential rite.

(Also the actual chant melodies are different from those broadcast from the vatican).
However - great little hardback book
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I use it many nights to sing the service at home.
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on August 21, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Night time office - great prayer book.
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