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Childermas




Rubens_Massacre_of_the_Innocents
The message of the angels was about peace on earth. It was about joy. But, the government heard about the hope of the new Messiah’s birth and there was terrible grief.

“When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 'A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.'” (Matthew 2:16-18 NRSV).

From the Wikipedia article on the
Massacre of the Innocents:

“The commemoration of the massacre of these "Holy Innocents" —considered by some Christians as the first martyrs for Christ — first appears as a feast of the western church in the Leonine Sacramentary, dating from about 485. The earliest commemorations were connected with the Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January: Prudentius mentions the Innocents in his hymn on the Epiphany. Leo in his homilies on the Epiphany speaks of the Innocents. Fulgentius of Ruspe (6th century) gives a homily De Epiphania, deque Innocentum nece et muneribus magorum ("On Epiphany, and on the murder of the Innocents and the gifts of the Magi").[27]“Today, the date of Holy Innocents' Day, also called Childermas or Children's Mass, varies. 27 December is the date for West Syrians ... and East Syrians .... 28 December is the date in the Church of England, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church .... The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the feast on 29 December.”




A chilling reminder: the Good News isn’t considered good by everyone. Hope is born and bitter opposition ensues.




O God,
whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in you which we confess
with our lips may also speak through our manner of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.





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