HOLY INNOCENTS

Morning Prayer



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If the Office of Readings is the first Office of the day, begin below.

Lord, open my lips.
 - And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 95 is the traditional Invitatory Psalm. Psalm 24, 67, or 100 may be substituted.

Antiphon: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who crowns with joy these children who died for him.





Morning Prayer

God, come to my assistance.
 - Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 -  as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Amen. Alleluia.


HYMN
-
Christ, in whose passion once was sown
All virtue of all saints to be,
From the white field of these thy own
We praise the seed and sower, thee.

Thine was the first and holiest grain
To die and quicken and increase;
And then came these, and died again,
That spring and harvest should not cease.

From thee the martyrs, we from those,
Each in thy grace's measure, spring;
Their strength upon our weakness flows
And guides us to the goal we sing.

These were thy great ones: we, thy least,
One in desire and faith with them,
Called by the Lord to keep one feast,
Journey to one Jerusalem.

Melody: Mein Seel, O Gott, Muss Loben Dich, L.M.; Music: M. Praetorius, 1571-1621; Text: Walter Shewring


PSALMODY

Antiphon:Clothed in white robes, they will walk with me, says the Lord, for they are worthy.

Psalm 63:2-9

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast. Glory...

Antiphon:Clothed in white robes, they will walk with me, says the Lord, for they are worthy.


Antiphon:These children cry out their praises to the Lord; by their death they have proclaimed what they could not preach with their infant voices.

Canticle Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *

Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Antiphon: These children cry out their praises to the Lord; by their death they have proclaimed what they could not preach with their infant voices.


Antiphon: From the mouths of children and babies at the breast you have found praise to foil your enemies.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful. Glory...

Antiphon: From the mouths of children and babies at the breast you have found praise to foil your enemies.


READING                                                      Jeremiah 31:15
In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning,
of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled
because her children are no more.


RESPONSORY          
The just are the friends of God. They live with him forever.
    -    The just are the friends of God. They live with him forever.
God himself is their reward.
    -    They live with him forever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
    -    The just are the friends of God. They live with him forever.


BENEDICTUS (Canticle of Zechariah)
Antiphon:At the king's command these innocent babies and little children were put to death; they died for Christ, and now in the glory of heaven as they follow him, the sinless Lamb, they sing for ever: Glory to you, O Lord.


INTERCESSIONS
We rejoice in the glory of Jesus Christ, who conquered the enemy not by force of arms but with a white-robed army of children, and we cry out:

                        The white-robed army of martyrs praises you.

The Holy Innocents gave witness not by words but by their life's blood;
 - give us the strength to be your witnesses before men, both by word's and actions.

They were not ready for battle but you made them fit to win the palm of victory,
 - now that we are prepared for victory, do not let us despair.

You washed the robes of the Innocents in your blood;
 - cleanse us from all sin.

You rewarded the child martyrs with the first share of your kingdom,
 - do not let us be cast out from the unending heavenly banquet.

You knew persecution and exile as a child
 - protect all children whose lives are in danger from famine wars and disasters.


Our Father...


COLLECT
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.


May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.




The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 
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