Feast of the Holy Innocents

Introit

Psalm 8:3, 2

Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings, O God, Thou hast perfected praise, because of Thine enemies. Ps. O Lord our God, how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth! Glory be to the Father.

Collect

O God, whose praise the martyred Innocents on this day confessed, not by speaking, but by dying: destroy in us all the evils of sin, that our life also may proclaim in deeds Thy faith which our tongues profess. Through our Lord.

Epistle

Apocalypse 14:1-5

In those days I beheld a Lamb stood upon Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the noise of many waters and as the voice of great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers, harping on their harps. And they sung as it were a new canticle before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the ancients: and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty-four thousand who were purchased from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were purchased from among men, the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb: and in their mouth there was found no lie: for they are without spot before the throne of God.

Gradual

Psalm 123:7, 8

Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare hath been broken, and we have been delivered. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Alleluia

Psalm 112:1

Alleluia, alleluia. Praise the Lord, ye children, praise ye the Name of the Lord. Alleluia.

Gospel

Matthew 2:13-18

At that time an Angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the Child and His Mother and fly into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him. Who arose and took the Child and His Mother by night and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. Then Herod, perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry, and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning: Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Offertory

Psalm 123:7

Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are delivered.

Secret

Let not the loving prayer of Thy Saints fail us, O Lord: may it render our offerings pleasing to Thee, and ever obtain for us Thy pardon. Through our Lord.

Communion

Matthew 2:18

A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning: Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Postcommunion

We have partaken, O Lord, of these votive gifts: grant, we beseech Thee, that by the prayers of the Saints they may procure aid for us both in this life in that which is to come. Through our Lord.