Thursday, December 28, 2023

"Herod the king, in his raging..."

The carol mourns the death of the baby boys of Bethlehem when King Herod, having caught wind that one of them was destined to take over his job as king of the Jews, ordered their murder. The song itself was crafted for a medieval mystery play, performed annually in the city of Coventry from the late 12th century until Protestants shut down such rituals in the late 16th century. ....

...[T]he massacre of the babies of Bethlehem is commemorated each year as the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The feast is held every Christmastide on December 28 — today. The Innocents are venerated as the first Christian martyrs, for, in the words of St. Augustine, “they are the first buds of the Church killed by the frost of persecution; they died not only for Christ, but in his stead.”

Kayla Bartsch, "The Bloody Tale behind the Coventry Carol," National Review, December 28, 2023.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.