Eucharistic Readings:

Psalm 124;
Jeremiah 31:15-17
;
Revelation 21:1-7;
Matthew 2:13-18

Preface of the Incarnation

Daily Office Readings:

AM Psalm 2, 26;
Isaiah 49:13-23;
Matthew 18:1-14
PM Psalm 19, 126;
Isaiah 54:1-13;
Mark 10:13-16

 
PRAYER (traditional language)
We remember this day, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by the order of King Herod. Receive, we beseech thee, into the arms of thy mercy all innocent victims; and by thy great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish thy rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

PRAYER (contemporary language)
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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Last updated: 18 Nov. 2001
 

THE HOLY INNOCENTS

(28 DEC NT)

  
Slaughter of the Innocents, from an illuminated manuscript

We read in Matthew 2 that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, King Herod, fearing for his throne, ordered that all the male infants of Bethlehem be killed. These children are regarded as martyrs for the Gospel -- "martyrs in fact though not in will." Augustine called them "buds, killed by the frost of persecution the moment they showed themselves." For a discussion of the historical background of the episode, consult the Web page http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/CHRISTIA/library/infancy2.html

(NOTE: Ignore what the file says about the Assumption of Moses.)

by James Kiefer

Slaughter of the Innocents, by Fra Angelico