Feast of Holy Innocents


1 John 1:5 –2:2
Matthew 2:13 –18


The Christmas Hymn below is one we use each Christmas Night. It is sung to the tune of Londonderry Air. The original words we may know as ‘Danny Boy’. This hymn is easy to sing with one’s heart, mind or voice in the private recesses of one’s soul or as a community at prayer.

The Weary Couple puts the birth of Jesus in the midst of an uncaring world of self -interest and a disregard for the needs of expectant mothers/fathers and unborn babies. No room for impoverished families in this world where words are spoken and promises made but homelessness still increases.

Flood, fire, drought and storm; acts of terrorism, killing of innocent people, no freedom of speech, economic uncertainly makes people refugees.  Jesus Mary and Joseph were refugees in Egypt. The violence that brought this about is still been done today.  We pray for peace and allow our heart to grieve the death of the innocent.

A weary couple Arranger Tony Alonso 

A weary couple lodged within a stable,

the only space where they could spend the night.

Were other trav’lers happy to be able

to keep her labour out of mind and sight?

But choirs of angels heard the mother’s weeping,

and heaven rang with songs of peace on earth.

They went unheard by those in comfort sleeping,

for Jesus came among the outcasts at his birth.

An angel came to Joseph in his dreaming

and warned him so his family could flee.

As they escaped king Herod’s evil scheming,

the son of God became a refugee.

How many children die without such warning?

How many mothers will not be consoled,

their voices choked with anger, tears, and mourning,

for songs unsung and stories never to be told?

Oh Oh Oh

But still the angels sing their hymn of “Glory”

beyond our fears that never seem to cease.

For Christ has come, and God’s unfolding story

redeems the world to live in love, good will, and peace.

Fr Peter Addicoat CP is parish priest and community leader of our St Joseph’s parish/community in Hobart, Tasmania.