Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fourth Day of Christmas 2013 Holy Innocents

From the Gospel According to Matthew:

 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
   wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
   she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

An anthem from the 16th Century:

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his owne sight,
All young children to slay.
That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
These two pieces---scripture and hymn---strike me as terribly sad and need no more commentary. I will refer you to the Wikipedia page for the Coventry Carol for more information on the carol. There I learned history that I did not know and am fascinated that it comes from a Mystery Play---this stimulates the theater history part of my brain, but remains very sad---three mother's lament for their children, slain while the Christ child escapes into Egypt. 

Yes, I have nothing to add. The above will have to stand for my thoughts---or lack thereof---for this somber day in Christmas.

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