FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS, MARTYRS
The most haunting Christmas carol I know is undoubtedly the “Coventry Carol.” Composed for one of Coventry’s medieval mystery plays, the plays were famous in England, running for almost two centuries. The Nativity play, the source of the carol, portrays events from the Annunciation to the Massacre of the Holy Innocents. Three women of Bethlehem sing the carol to their infants just after Joseph is warned to flee to Egypt. The song died out in popularity but was restored in 1940 after a German raid targeted a munitions factory in Coventry, England. With hundreds dead and thousands of homes destroyed, the BBC concluded a Christmas broadcast that year with the carol’s powerful words, “Woe is me, poor child, for thee / And ever mourn and may / For thy parting neither say nor sing, / ‘Bye bye, lully, lully.’”
Lord Jesus, may I love the little ones that you called unto your side. You, the Lord of the universe, did not fear to become small to teach us the way of your Gospel. May I never hold back from imitating you. Amen.
Give a little gift to a child in your life, perhaps a neighbor, a godson or goddaughter, even a (great) niece or nephew.