Rev. Dr. Jim Waters, PhD Chancellor   [email protected]

              Early Desert Fathers and Mothers                                        


Order of Desert Companions

Desert Companions is a prayer community for those who are called to the type of life of the Early Desert Fathers and Mothers, who are an example to us of a very simple form of a life lived before God, and in His Presence.

There is much interest in the life of prayer in our current culture, however, there is also a trend in the direction of modern revisionism and new age philosophy. We hope to provide fellowship for those who would like to get away from these trends, and pursue a prayer life that is led by the Holy Spirit, based on simple belief in the Holy Scriptures.

This is the life lived and taught by St. Seraphim of Sarof who went into the deep forest of Russia, remaining there for many years, and came out of his solitude with the message that the only thing necessary was to receive the Holy Spirit.

From the Life of St. Antony by St. Athanasius:

Saint Anthony of Egypt.And so for nearly twenty years he continued training himself in solitude, never going forth, and but seldom seen by any. After this when many were eager and wishful to imitate his discipline, and his acquaintances came and began to cast down and wrench off the door by force, Antony, as from a shrine, came forth ... filled with the Spirit of God. Then for the first time, he was seen outside the fort by those who came to see him. And they, when they saw him, wondered at the sight, for he had the same habit of body as before, ... he was just the same as they had known him before his retirement. And again his soul was free from blemish, ...for he was not troubled when he beheld the crowd, nor overjoyed at being saluted by so many. But he was altogether even as being guided by reason, and abiding in a natural state. Through him the Lord healed the bodily ailments of many present, and cleansed others from evil spirits.

And He gave grace to Antony in speaking, so that he consoled many that were sorrowful, and set those at variance at one, exhorting all to prefer the love of Christ before all that is in the world. And while he exhorted and advised them to remember the good things to come, and the loving-kindness of God towards us, "Who spared not His own Son., but delivered Him up for us all: (Rom. 8:32), he persuaded many to embrace the solitary life. And thus it happened in the end, that cells arose even in the mountains, and the desert was colonized by monks, who came forth from their own people, and enrolled themselves for the citizenship in the heavens. . ."

Our Community

O ur community is in the early desert tradition, an approach that was very simple, with spiritual fathers and mothers being experienced elders in the spiritual life who would be an example and mentor to those who were newer in it. They existed in very simplistic lives, living out their calling in prayer, silence, and solitude, but keeping a connection with one another.

We hope to support and encourage others drawn to this way of life.

We try to help one another retain a spiritual focus in the difficulties faced in everyday living in the modern world.

Regular contact by E-mail for encouragement and prayer is available.

We live out our calling in simplicity, seeking to walk in clearness of spirit before the Lord, with nothing clouding our communion with Him. This is a life focused on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Trinity.and an embrace of the Cross. It is a surrendered, poured out life, unto God alone, abiding in Him.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Micah 7:14

S hepherd Your people with Your staff, The flock of Your heritage, Who dwell solitarily in a woodland, In the midst of Carmel; Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, As in days of old. (NKJV)


         The Practice of the Presence of God, by                                    Brother Lawrence.                     
     The original version is recommended. This book is our "must read"            selection. Can be read online at:    The Practice of the Presence of God,       by Brother Lawrence

                  Office of Compline for Solitary Prayer                


Office of Compline for Solitary Prayer

In early monastic tradition, Compline (latin for completion) was prayed as the last evening prayers for the completion of the day. Some traditions observed silence after Compline until morning prayers. You are invited to print this page for your own personal use.

Adapted from the 1914 Book of Offices

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (+)


Compline Candle.

O God, make speed to save me.
O Lord, make haste to help me .

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; (+)
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.

The Lord’s Name be praised.

¶ Then shall be sung/chanted one or more of the Psalms following.

PSALM 4. Cum invocarem.

HEAR me when I call, O God of my righteousness : thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble; have mercy upon me, and hearken unto my prayer.
2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye blaspheme mine honour : and have such pleasure in vanity, and seek after falsehood?
3 Know this also, that the Lord hath chosen to himself the man that is godly : when I call upon the Lord he will hear me.
4 Stand in awe, and sin not : commune with your own heart, and in your chamber, and be still.
5 Offer the sacrifice of righteousness : and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There be many that say : Who will show us any good?
7 Lord, lift thou up : the light of thy countenance upon us.
8 Thou hast put gladness in my heart : since the time that their corn and wine and oil increased.
9 I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest : for it is thou, Lord, only, that makest me dwell in safety.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; (+)
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PSALM 31. In te, Domine, speravi.

IN THEE, O Lord, have I put my trust : let me never be put to confusion; deliver me in thy righteousness.
2 Bow down thine ear to me : make haste to deliver me.
3 And be thou my strong rock, and house of defence : that thou mayest save me.
4 For thou art my strong rock, and my castle : be thou also my guide, and lead me for thy Name’s sake.
5 Draw me out of the net that they have laid privily for me : for thou art my strength.
6 Into thy hands I commend my spirit : for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; (+)
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PSALM 91. Qui habitat.

WHOSO dwelleth under the defence of the Most High : shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say unto the Lord, Thou art my hope, and my stronghold : my God, in him will I trust.
3 For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter : and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers : his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night : nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 For the pestilence that walketh in darkness : nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noon-day.
7 A thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand : but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Yea, with thine eyes shalt thou behold : and see the reward of the ungodly.
9 For thou, Lord, art my hope : thou hast set thine house of defence very high.
10 There shall no evil happen unto thee : neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee : to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee in their hands : that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder : the young lion and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him : I will set him up, because he hath known my Name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will hear him : yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.
16 With long life will I satisfy him : and show him my salvation.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; (+)
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PSALM 134. Ecce nunc.

BEHOLD now, praise the Lord : all ye servants of the Lord;
2 Ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord : even in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary : and praise the Lord.
4 The Lord that made heaven and earth : give thee blessing out of Sion.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; (+)
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

HYMN, suggested tune is “The Doxology,” or your choice.


Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That with Thy wonted favor, Thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our sight,   
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
That spot of sin we may not know

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

¶ Then may follow a Scripture Reading, followed by:

Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.
For Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, Thou God of truth.
Keep me as the apple of an eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Thy wings.

Nunc dimittis. St. Luke ii. 29.

Rembrandt's Simeon in the Temple.

LORD, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace : according to Thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : Thy salvation.
Which Thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of Thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; (+)
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

¶ Then shall be said the Apostles’ Creed.

Ibelieve in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord : Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried : He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead : He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty : From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost : The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints : The Forgiveness of sins : The Resurrection of the body : And the life everlasting. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of our fathers :
And worthy to be praised, and glorified for ever.
Bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost;
Praise and exalt the Lord forever.
Blessed be Thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven;
And praised for evermore.

Iconfess to Thee, O God the Father Almighty, that I have sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed, by my own fault, my own grievous fault. I repent of these my transgressions, and I beseech Thee to grant me forgiveness for the past, and grace to amend my life in time to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May The Almighty and merciful Lord grant re¬mission of my sins, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of His Holy Spirit. Amen.

Vouchsafe, O Lord,
To keep me this night without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon me,
Have mercy upon me.
O Lord, let Thy mercy be upon me:
As my trust is in Thee.
Turn me again, Thou God of hosts:
Show the light of Thy countenance, and I shall be whole.
O Lord, hear my prayer;
And let my cry come unto Thee.

¶ Then shall be said the Prayers following.

Three Candles.

LIGHTEN my darkness, O Lord; and by Thy great mercy defend me from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of Thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

GIVE light in the night season, O Lord, and grant that my rest may be without sin, and my waking to Thy service; that I may come in peace and safety to the waking of the great day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Almighty Lord grant a quiet night and a good end.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with all my brothers and sisters evermore. Amen.

Here may be added private intercessions.

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