Archive for December 28th, 2020

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:13-18

When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.  When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.


The Latin Church instituted the feast of the Holy Innocents at a date now unknown, sometime in the 4th or 5th centuries.  The feast was to commemorate the small children of the neighborhood of Bethlehem who were put to death by Herold, who was seeking to kill Jesus. They were the first Christian martyrs.  These innocent victims bear witness to Christ in a world which would not receive Him.  Our hearts are filled with compassion for these innocent children, who shed their blood to satisfy the cruelty, vanity, and pride of a tyrant.  Unfortunately, the suffering of innocent children is still a scandal for our human hearts.  Pray for today’s children who are victims of famines, epidemics, wars, murder, abuses, bullying, trafficking, abandonment, persecution, terrorism, and injustice of any kind. God is still angered by the suffering of innocents.

COLLECT:  Written by Collects are short general prayers used in Christian liturgy to draw our focus of worship.  The collect today is from a Lutheran Collect for the Holy Innocents, Martyrs.

Almighty God, the martyred innocents of Bethlehem showed forth Your praise not by speaking but by dying.  Put to death in us all that is in conflict with Your will that our lives may bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  King’s College Cambridge: Coventry Carol

IMAGE: Classic Orthodox Icon: Holy Innocents of Bethlehem

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