December 28

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

Purple or Red

2nd Class

[STATION AT ST. PAUL OUTSIDE THE WALLS]

   It is because Herod believed the words of the Magi and of the high priests whom he consulted that he sees a rival in the Infant of Bethlehem and with jealousy persues the Child, born King of the Jews. It is this God-king that the Innocents by dying confess. Their passion is the exaltation of Christ. Like a compassionate Mother, the Church chooses today for her priests vestments of mourning, and suppresses the Gloria and Alleluia.

INTROIT Ps. 8. 3

   Ex ore infantium, Deus, et lactentium perfecisti laudem propter inimicos tuos. -- Domine Dominus noster: quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra. V.: Gloria Patri . . . -- Ex ore infantium . . .    Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings, O God, Thou hast perfected praise, because of Thine enemies. -- (Ps. 8. 2). O Lord our God, how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth! V.: Glory be to the Father . . . Out of the mouth of infants . . .

The Gloria Patri . . . Alleluia and Ite, Missa est are omitted. These Prayers are said only on a Sunday, and on the Octave of the Feast (January 4).

 

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 Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .
   Commemoration of Christmas
2nd COLLECT.--Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free, who are held by the old bondage under the yoke of sin. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God . . .

 

EPISTLE Apoc. 14. 1-5
Lesson from the book of the Apocalypse of the blessed Apostle John.

[The souls of these holy, innocent children follow, wiht the Virgins, the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They are without spot before the throne of God.]

   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 Ps. 123. 7, 8

   Anima nostra, sicut passer, erepta est de laqueo venantium. V.: Laqueus contritus est, et nos liberati sumus. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, qui fecit coelum et terram.    Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers. V.: The snare hath been broken, and we have been delivered. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

On Sunday or on the Octave-day, the following is added:

   Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Laudate, pueri, Dominum, laudate nomen Domini. Alleluia.    Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Ps. 112. 1). Praise the Lord, ye children, praise ye the Name of the Lord. Alleluia.

 

GOSPEL Matthew 2. 13-18.
† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

[The Evangelist tells us of the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents. The praise they render to God is a subject of confusion to the enemies of Jesus, for, far from attaining their object, they only served to fulfill the saying of the prophet: "Out of Egypt have I called My Son," and that at Bethlehem would be heard the lamentations of the mothers, mourning for their children.]

   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, perceiveing 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 Ps. 123. 7

   Anima nostra sicut passer erepta est de laqueo venantium: laqueus contritus est, et nos liberati sumus.    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 Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .
   Commemoration of Christmas
2nd SECRET.--Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts offered to Thee, by the new birth of Thine Only-begotten Son: and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God . . .

 

PREFACE
Preface of the Nativity

   Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: Quia per incarnati Verbi mysterium nova mentis nostrae oculis lux tuae claritatis infulsit: ut, dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus, per hunc in invisibilum amorem rapiamur. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militai coelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus sine fine dicentes:    It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

 

SPECIAL FORM OF COMMUNICANTES
Communicantes for Christmas

   Communicantes, et diem sacratissimum celebrantes, quo beatae Mariae intemerata virginitas huic mundo edidit Salvatorem: sed et memoriam venerantes, in primis ejusdem gloriosae semper Virginis Mariae, Genetricis ejusdem Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et . . .    Communicating, and keeping this most holy day, on which the spotless virginity of blessed Mary brought forth a Savior to this world; and also reverencing the memory first of the same glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also . . .

 

COMMUNION Matth. 2. 18

   Vox in Rama audita est, ploratus, et ululatus: Rachel plorans filios suos, et noluit consolari, quia non sunt.    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 Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .
   Commemoration of Christmas
2nd POSTCOMMUNION.--Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as the Savior of the world, born on this day, is the Author of our heavenly birth, so He may also be to us the Giver of immortality. Who with Thee . . .