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COMPLINE

The concluding hour of the Divine Office. Its origins in the West are commonly ascribed to St. Benedict (480-547). At first it was recited after the evening meal or before retiring. It now follows Vespers. As Night Prayer it consists of a hymn, one or two psalms, a short reading from Scripture, a versicle and response, the Nunc Dimittis of Simeon, and a concluding prayer. (Etym. Latin completorium, complement.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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