Prayers for the Innocents and the Church

The events surrounding the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ are perhaps the greatest evidence that life begins at conception. God's plans for Jesus were well-established before His human-divine birth, and were foretold by the angel to Mary. His cousin, John the Baptist, whose birth and life also fulfilled prophecy, leapt in the womb when Mary visited John's mother Elizabeth. The Bible clearly teaches that this was no coincidence. As a "fetus," John felt the presence of His Savior and expressed joy. God's plans for us, too, are created long before birth and our fulfillment of those plans begins at conception. As we joyfully reflect on our Savior's birth this season, may we prayerfully remember the lives of those who were denied the Father's gift of life by the tragic choice of abortion. May we pray that the hearts of those parents considering abortion be changed into hearts thankful for the gift of life. May those suffering from the consequences of abortion receive healing and forgiveness. May Herod's massacre of the innocent, which continues through abortion today, be brought to an end.

We remember this day, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by the order of King Herod. Receive, we beseech Thee, into the arms of Thy mercy all innocent victims; and by Thy great might frustrate the designs fo evil tyrants and establish thy rule of justice, love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the Holy Innocents, Book of Common Prayer
Reprinted in Abortion and the Early Christians, Dael E. Smith, Jr.
(Available from Anglicans for Life:


"If it seems more disgraceful that a man be killed in his own home than in his field--since for every man his home is his sanctuary--how much more abominable is it to be considered to kill a fetus in the womb who has not yet been brought into the light." -- John Calvin

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each
person according to what he has done?" -- Proverbs 24:11-12