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Today's 'Holy Innocents' Remembered

The Holy Innocents' icon is representative of the children killed by Herod in search of the baby Jesus.
The Holy Innocents' icon is representative of the children killed by Herod in search of the baby Jesus.

The young “Holy Innocents of today”—children who died in Georgia as a result of abuse and violence in 2013—will be remembered this weekend in a Prayer Vigil and Requiem Mass at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church (HIEC). The church itself is named after the Holy Innocents in the Bible, the male children of Bethlehem, ages 2 and younger, who were put to death by Herod in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus.

The vigil begins Saturday, Jan. 25, about sundown at 6 p.m. in Christ Chapel at the church, and will continue in the Oratory of the Holy Family until 7 a.m. Sunday.

Throughout the night, volunteers will read the names of more than 600 children who died violently in Georgia in 2013. The public is invited to gather and offer prayers for the young victims of violence in the state last year.

"The tragedy of children losing their lives to violence and cruelty is not just found in fairytales,” said the Rev. Michael Sullivan, rector of Holy Innocents'. “In the massacre of the children of Bethlehem who died in place of the newborn child of God, we not only have a vivid reminder of the violent world into which Jesus was born, but we also are reminded of the violent world we live in today.

“Together we seek God’s solace and clarity though the sorrow of loss and we sit in prayer to remember the hope of God’s promises.” 

On Sunday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. the church will hold a Requiem Mass to celebrate the lives of these children, “those whose names we know, and the children whose names we do not know,” said Sullivan. “We invite everyone to come, and remember.” 

The church is located at 805 Mt. Vernon Hwy. N.W., Atlanta 30327.

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