O almighty God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast
ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their
deaths: Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us
by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy
of our faith, even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. _Amen_.
FOR THE EPISTLE. Rev. xiv. 1.
I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an
hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's Name written
in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice
of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard
the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as
it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts,
and the elders; and no man could learn that song, but the hundred
and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women, for they are
virgins: these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he
goeth: these were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits
unto God, and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile;
for they are without fault before the throne of God. `1
THE GOSPEL. St Matth. ii. 13.
The Angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying,
Arise, and take the young child, and his mother, and flee into
Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will
seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the
young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and
was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt
have I called my Son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked
of the wise men, was exceeding wroth; and sent forth, and slew
all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts
thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which
he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that
which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there
a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel
weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because
they are not.