The Office of Compline is rooted in the daily cycle of prayer observed by the early Christian monastic communities. By the 6th century, St. Benedict had codified the rule for his followers, setting forth a formula for the recitation of psalms, hymns, prayers, and readings seven times a day. Compline was the final prayer hour before retiring for the evening.
The service incorporates plainsong and diverse choral styles and genres creating thus a unique blend of new and older musical traditions. As was customary in medieval chapels, Compline is offered by candlelight and much of the music is unaccompanied. The unifying thread throughout the Compline service is quiet meditation and reflection led and inspired by music.