The Innocents’ Day.
O GOD, the heathen are come into thine inheritance : thy holy temple have they defiled, and made Jerusalem an heap of stones.
2. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the air : and the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the land.
3. Their blood have they shed like water on every side of Jerusalem : and there was no man to bury them.
4. We are become an open shame to our enemies : a very scorn and derision unto them that are round about us.
5. Lord, how long wilt thou be angry : shall thy jealousy burn like fire for ever?
6. Pour out thine indignation upon the heathen that have not known thee : and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy Name.
7. For they have devoured Jacob : and laid waste his dwelling place.
8. O remember not our old sins, but have mercy upon us, and that soon : for we are come to great misery.
9. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy Name : O deliver us, and be merciful unto our sins, for thy Name’s sake.
10. Wherefore do the heathen say : Where is now their God?
11. O let the vengeance of thy servants’ blood that is shed : be openly shewed upon the heathen in our sight.
12. O let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before thee : according to the greatness of thy power, preserve thou those that are appointed to die.
13. And for the blasphemy wherewith our neighbours have blasphemed thee : reward thou them , O Lord, seven-fold into their bosom.
14. So we, that are thy people, and sheep of thy pasture, shall give thee thanks for ever : and will alway be shewing forth thy praise from generation to generation.
O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New-year’s Eve.]
Epistle Reading: Revelation 14.1-5
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew2.13-18
For a short meditation on this day see my post at: http://mphilliber.blogspot.com/2011/12/rachel-weeping.html
Also, in a recent Advent sermon I brought up this incident. You can see what I brought out here: http://mphilliber.blogspot.com/2013/12/do-you-see-what-i-see-pt-4-matthew-213.html