Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Feast of the Holy Innocents 2017

Truly it is worthy and just, meet and profitable to salvation, that we praise Thee more gloriously, holy Father almighty, in the precious death of the little ones, whom because of the infancy of Thy Son, our Lord and Savior, the murderous Herod slew with monstrous savagery. We know the boundless gifts of Thy clemency; for grace alone shines forth greater than the will, and confession is glorious even before speech. Their passion came before there were any to share in His passion; they were witnesses of Christ, who could not yet recognize Him. Oh, the infinite goodness of the Almighty, when it did not permit the reward of eternal glory to perish for those slaughtered for His name, even though they knew it not; rather, as they were bathed in their own blood, the salvation of regeneration was accomplished, and the crown of martyrdom attributed to them. Through the same Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy majesty etc. (The Ambrosian Preface for the feast of the Holy Innocents.)
Reliquary of the Holy Innocents, 1449, from the Museum of the Basilica of St Ambrose. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Sailko.)
Vere quia dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos in pretiosa morte Parvulorum te, Sancte Pater omnipotens, gloriosius collaudare: quod propter Filii tui, Domini nostri Salvatoris infantiam, immani saevitia Herodes funestus occidit. Immensa clementiae tuae dona cognoscimus. Fulget namque sola magis gratia, quam voluntas, et clara est prius confessio quam loquela. Ante passio, quam membra passionis existerent; testes Christi, qui ejus nondum fuerant agnitores. O infinita benignitas Omnipotentis: cum pro suo nomine trucidatis, etiam nescientibus, aeternae meritum gloriae perire non patitur; sed proprio cruore perfusis, et salus regenerationis expletur, et imputatur corona martyrii. Per eundem Christum, Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli etc.

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