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Sunday, December 28, A.D. 2008
Coventry Carol for the Holy Innocents

Here is another English carol for you folks on the Roman calendar, where the feast of the Holy Innocents falls on December 28. The Orthodox Church remembers the children slain by Herod on December 29 (currently January 11 on the Gregorian calendar). Evidently, the “Coventry Carol” was part of a series of English mystery plays—the Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors.

The lyrics are . . .

Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.

Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Regardless of when you remember the holy innocents, keep in mind the slain children of today. Human sin, avarice, and selfishness are still at work, and the weak and defenseless are ever their victims. In a related story, read about a surprising move by the Latin diocese of Buffalo that opened a chapel dedicated to the Holy Innocents in a former abortion facility.

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, December 28, Anno Domini 2008
Music | Folk MusicSacred MusicComments
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