Compline was the hour for nightly prayer, marking the end of the day for monks of the Middle Ages. Normally involving meditation on death, it initiated the hours of dark and silence—a perilous time. As monks, priests and bishops drifted to sleep, their authoritative prayers faded and spiritual protections weakened. And so, on their knees in darkened bedrooms, people intoned an ancient hymn, begging for divine protection: “From evil dreams defend our sight, / From fears and terrors of the night; / Tread underfoot our deadly foe/ That we no sinful thought may know.” Continuing the bedtime litany, they recited yet more fearful prayers, urging themselves to “be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour.” Hardly This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.