A standard selection of Psalms are also chanted as part of the Compline service. While some might become bored by the same chants nightly, I find them soothing and assuring in their consistency. And while some sort of prayer or hymn to the Virgin Mary is included in all of the various Divine Hours, the Commemoration sung during Compline is particularly moving:
As the bell continues to peal, the Guestmaster walks back to the area where the retreatants and guests are seated and opens the low glass gates to allow us to enter the monks’ area. First, all the monks process in a double line toward the abbot. Once at the front of the line, each monk slowly bows to receive the blessing of holy water from the abbot. After the monks have received the blessing, each of the retreatants and guests do as well.
And so begins The Great Silence until the Vigils service at 3:15am the next morning.