Sung Compline on a Sunday Night

Many living in Austin, Texas, are aware of the Sunday-night tradition of going to hear the Compline Choir at St. David’s Episcopal Church. (It soothed this young seminarian’s nerves more than once on the evening before a major paper was due.) It turns out Susan Richter has been recording these events for the past four years and offering them on her web site, where they are broken into their respective service portions.

Here’s verbiage from the St. David’s web site:

Compline is the last of the daily offices chanted by monks before retiring for the evening. This venerable service is performed every Sunday evening at 9 p.m. by the Compline Choir under the direction of Dr. David Stevens. Initiated in 1986 by former music director Les Martin, Compline is a short, meditative service chanted by a choir anywhere between eight to eighteen experienced singers. Several of these singers have been with the choir since its inception. The music consists of Gregorian and Sarum chant melodies, Elizabethan Tudor anthems, and a variety of contemporary hymns. The congregation sits quietly in the candlelit and incensed Historic Sanctuary participating through silent prayer and meditation.

All are welcome to attend regardless of your religious affiliation. Dress is “come-as-you-are” casual.

If you’re not in Austin for the night, take a listen here as the second-best option; and next time you’re in the Live Music Capital of the World, stop in to hear it for yourself.

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