Childermas or holy Innocents: 28th December

ChildermasAgain – and in the space of only two days in this festive season of the high holidays of Christmas – the holy Christian Church commemorates the death of holy martyrs, who were killed for Jesus Christ’s sake. Two days ago it was St. Stephen, today it’s the little children of Bethlehem under 2 years, who king Herod had killed because he feared the new born king of the Jews. Again the watchword is from Psalm 116 verses 15 and 17: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints… I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.”

Flight to EgyptThe day’s gospel is from the evangelist St. Matthew: “When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

holyinnoWhen Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

Lament of Rachel

Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (2:13-18 NIV)

The hymn for the day is Dr. Martin Luther’s 2nd Christmashymn and fitting the same tune as the first one. Especially verses 4-6 sing to strengthen and comfort afflicted faith even though death, devil, hell and many more grievously hurt and harm us. God will not let go of us as we put our trust in him. Jesus Christ is on our side and ours and in the end we will overcome. Thank God for that in eternity.

This hymn is also available in isiZulu and is found under Nr.45 in the Incwadi Yokukhabelela. Here is a link on YouTube: and here is another one:


1) Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar,
erschien den hirten offenbar;
sie sagten ihn’: “Ein Kindlein zart,
das liegt dort in der Krippen hart.

2) zu Bethlehem, in Davids Stadt,
wie Micha[1] das verkündet hat,
es ist der herre Jesus Christ,
der euer aller Heiland ist.

3) Des sollt ihr alle fröhlich sein,
daß Gott mit euch ist worden ein.
Er ist geborn eu’r Fleisch und Blut,
eu’r Bruder ist das ewig Gut.

4) Was kann euch tun die Sünd und Tod?
Ihr habt mit euch den wahren Gott;
laßt zürnen Teufel und die Höll,
Gottes Sohn ist worden eu’r Gesell.

5) Er will und kann euch lassen nicht,
setzt ihr auf ihn eu’r Zuversicht;
es mögen euch viel fechten an:
dem sei Trotz, der’s nicht lassen kann.

6) Zuletzt müßt ihr doch haben recht,
ihr seid nun worden Gotts Geschlecht.
Des danket Gott in Ewigkeit,
geduldig, fröhlich allezeit.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
This entry was posted in Histories, biographies and other stories, Lutheran Order of service, Lutheran World and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.