Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28 tradition of Christian mourning of the innocent children

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Carol Forsloff---On December 28 around the world Christians observe the Feast of Holy Innocents or “Childermas.” People will read from their Bibles the Biblical story of King Herod's killing of innocent children in an attempt to kill the child known as Jesus, subsequent to the birth a short time before, according to Bible stories.  These innocent children killed at that time are considered by Christians to be the first martyrs of the Faith.

Throughout history there have been unusual ways in which this special time was commemorated.  During the medieval period in England, Christians observed the day by whipping their children while they were in bed in the morning.  This custom continued for a number of centuries.  In the contemporary world, however, December 28 is marked as a time for children to play and be happy. 

But how can one truly recognize the innocent in these times.  Perhaps it is a time to look at the treatment of children across the world and consider these possibilities:

1.  Meet the needs of hungry children, as millions die every year from poverty and malnutrition.  Even in the United States, children go hungry.

2.  Emphasize education as a meaningful goal for all children across the world.  Offer the means and opportunity so every child has a chance to learn a skill for a trade.

3.  Eliminate child labor.  Ensure no children are confined to the fields, to the mines and to laboring jobs so they have a chance to enjoy childhood.

4.  Offer adequate care to pregnant mothers so children can be born healthy.

5.  Adopt the children without families wherever they may be.  Offer every child a loving home.

6.  Turn swords into ploughshares so every child can live without fear and in safety.

7.  Every home, every family and every community must provide a refuge of love, health, and protection to children can grow and be happy in every country of the world.


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