Christmas, Day 4 (Childermas)

December 28 is Childermas, or Holy Innocents’ Day, when the church commemorates the slaughter of young male children in Bethlehem by the order of Herod the Great, attempting to quash the threat of a rival king. This, too, is part of the Christmas story. The Gospel account of the “massacre of the innocents” quotes Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, / Rachel weeping for her children; / she refused to be comforted, because they are no more” (Matt. 2:18).

LOOK: Saltcellars by Rebekah Pryor

Pryor, Rebekah_Saltcellars
Rebekah Pryor, Saltcellars, 2017. Table salt, dimensions variable.

This ensemble of delicate containers made entirely of salt “is a motif of maternal lament,” says Australian artist Rebekah Pryor. “My Saltcellars functions to preserve and offer a taste of both the bitterness of maternal lament and the wisdom of love that enables the mother to survive it.”

LISTEN: “Mothers and Shepherds” by Brittney Spencer, Emil Sydhage, Gilbert Nanlohy, and Connor Wheaton, 2018 | Released as a single by Common Hymnal (feat. Brittney Spencer), 2019 | CCLI #7141753

Come now and hear the sound
Of mothers gathered round
Tears are streaming down in Bethlehem
Grieving life that didn’t have to end
Asking God to justify the pain
Never knowing He would feel the same
The powerful oppress the prophecy
But shepherds passing through have found a King

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Rumor has it that a child is born
And it’s said that we will call him Lord
Heaven’s angels came to let us know
That our freedom rests upon His throne
So we’ve traveled from across this land
Seeking out the new and precious Lamb
The One who came and made time stand still
When heaven opened up at God’s own will

Hallelujah
Glory in the highest
King Messiah
Savior of the world

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Now forever we will sing the song
Of the One who was and is to come
All creation joins in harmony
In declaring He is perfectly

Holy, holy
Merciful and mighty
God has sent
The Savior of the world

Hallelujah
Glory in the highest
King Messiah
Savior of the world

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh
Savior of the world
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh
Savior of the world

Songwriter Brittney Spencer describes “Mothers and Shepherds” as “a Christmas song that forces hope, disaster, and pursuit to meet on a painful yet dauntingly beautiful path that exposes how much we’ve always needed a savior.” Find the chords here.

One thought on “Christmas, Day 4 (Childermas)

  1. Thank you for pointing me to this beautiful reminder of the sorrow, joy, and mystery of our Lord’s love.
    MOTHERS AND SHEPHERDS written by Brittney Spencer

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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