My wife and I have been married for over 20 years and we went to Compline on our first date.
I met my life partner at Compline.
One by one, we heard stories like this last night at the Compline celebration at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, where the monastic service of Compline has been sung every single Sunday night for the last 57 years. The only exception has been when Christmas eve has fallen on a Sunday.
We even heard from the Bishop of the Diocese of Olympia, The Right Rev. Greg Rickel, and the present Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. Steve Thomason, speak about how they had heard of the huge crowds at Compline before they had ever come to the cathedral, and how the mysticism and spirituality of the service attracts hundreds of people every week, mostly between the ages of 13 and 40.
And everyone credited Peter Hallock, the founder of the Compline Choir who directed the group for the first 54 years, and composed much of the music for the service, as well as for many of the festive services at St. Mark’s. Oh, and don’t forget the hundreds of psalms in The Ionian Psalter as well as the Compline psalter.
At last night’s catered dinner, we viewed a documentary film about Compline, we heard a cut from the latest all-Hallock CD, and we heard Kenneth Peterson read an excerpt from his new book, Prayer as night falls, about his nearly 50 year experience in the Compline Choir.
We heard about the Cathedral Compline Legacy Society, to perpetuate the legacy of Peter Hallock by giving you a vehicle to leave part of your estate.
They even announced the formation of the Hallock Institute, which will seek to preserve and promote the works of Peter Hallock.
All this for an unassuming man from Kent who spent four years at Canterbury where Compline was sung in the crypt, and who brought this tradition to St. Mark’s, his first church job.