Holy Innocents Day

  lament-of-rachel

 The Fourth Day of Christmas and the feast of the Holy Innocents

 

 Light Christmas Candles and say or sing:

O Holy ONE + open my lips,

~And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

 

Glory to God in the highest

~And peace to God’s people on Earth.

 

Invitation to Worship

Christ, the newborn, praised by the Innocents:  Come, let us adore Him!

 

MORNING HYMN FOR HOLY INNOCENTS

All may sing or alternate the verses of the Coventry Carol:

Lully,  Thou little tiny Child,

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Lullay, thou little tiny Child,

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

 

O sisters too, how may we do,

For to preserve this day

This poor youngling for whom we do sing

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

 

Herod, the king, in his raging,

Charged hath he this day

His men of might, in his owne sight,

All young children to slay.

 

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!

And ever morn and day,

For thy parting neither say nor sing,

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

 

PSALMODY

Psalm 123/124

Our life like a bird has escaped from the snare of the fowler.

“If Adonai had not been with us,”

this is Israel’s song,

“If Adonai had not been on our side

when evil men rose up against us,

then would we have been swallowed alive,

when their fury was inflamed toward us.”

 

The waters of the flood would have engulfed us,

a thundering torrent  over our heads;

the rushing and surging waters

would have swept us away.

 

Blessed be Adonai

for saving our flesh from their teeth!

for tearing the fowler’s nets,

so we could flutter away like birds.

Our help is in the Name of Adonai,

who made both heaven and Earth.

 

Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

And to the BREATH of Love!

As always before,

so now and evermore.  Amen

Our life like a bird has escaped from the snare of the fowler.

 

READING      Jeremiah 31: 15

In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!

Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more.

 

Responsory

R. I will rejoice in my people; * weeping and cries for help shall not be heard in her again.  V.  There shall be an end to death, and to mourning and crying and pain.  Behold! I am making all things new!   * weeping and cries for help shall not be heard in her again.

 

 

Canticle of Zachary–  Luke 1:68-79

 Antiphon

When the Christ was born in Bethlehem, the gift-bearing Magi came from the east.

But in great anger, Herod mowed down the infants as wheat;

for his way of ruling has come to an end.

Blessed + be Adonai, the God of Israel,

Who visits this people to set us free

Raising for us a sign of salvation

In the house and family of David.

 

God promised throughout past ages

In words of holy prophets

To save us from our enemies,

And from the control of our oppressors.

 

Adonai favored our ancestors

And remembered the sacred covenant.

The pledge to Abraham and Sarah

Is now renewed for us;

 

That freed from the grip of our foes

We might worship without fear

And be both just and holy

For the rest of our days.

 

And you, child, called “prophet of the Most High,”

Will go ahead to prepare the way,

By teaching this people of salvation

Through forgiveness of their sins.

 

For the loving compassion of the Holy One

As the Rising Sun will shine upon us

To illumine the darkness and dispel death’s shadow

To Guide our feet on the way of peace.

 

Glory to the ONE through the WORD

In the BREATH of Love!

As always before,

so now and evermore.  Amen

When the King was born in Bethlehem, the Magi came from the east.

But in his exceeding wrath, Herod mowed down the infants as wheat;

for his way of ruling has come to an end.

 

Litany of Intercession

Lord Jesus, Son of God Most High, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Christ Jesus, Son of Earth, blossoming with justice,

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 

Lord Jesus, Son of Mary, virgin and mother, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Prayer of Jesus

Lord Jesus, you taught us to pray:  Our Father …

 

Closing Prayer & Blessing

 

Holy One, Source of all light and life, we remember today Herod’s slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem.   As we celebrate their memory on this fiftth day of Christmas, receive into the arms of your mercy all victims of this world’s arrogance and greed.  May the power you revealed in the vulnerability of Jesus, frustrate the designs of those who destroy life to maintain their privilege and bring us all together into that new creation where all will enjoy the fullness of life.  We ask this and all things in the name of Jesus, our Emmanuel.  Amen.

 

May the  Word Made Flesh, + full of grace and truth, bless us and keep us.   Amen.

 

Let us bless the world with peace.    ~And give thanks to God.