Feast of the Holy Innocents in Bucks County
By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer
DOYLESTOWN – Children, newborns and the unborn will be honored at a Mass on the Feast of the Holy Innocents at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Doylestown.
Parents are invited to bring the blankets of their newborns to the foot of the altar prior to Mass for a blessing during Mass. A blanket fashioned from patches in memory of children who died before birth, including those who were victims of abortion, will also be blessed.
The feast will be celebrated with a musical performance of Johann Michael Haydn’s “Missa sub titulo Sancti Leopoldi in festo Innocentium,” the Mass for the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
Haydn was a Church composer in Austria in the late 18th and early 19th century, and a younger brother of renowned composer Franz Joseph Haydn.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity, especially during the octave of the Christmas season, to celebrate the beauty of human life and to use musical creativity to highlight an important feast in the Church,” said Father Charles H. Hagan, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. “It’s a blending of the arts and the faith.”
Father Hagan will serve as the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass, which is sponsored by the parish’s rosary group. A freewill offering will benefit the parish’s Respect Life Committee.
He said he considers the Holy Innocents Mass one of Haydn’s “most spectacular compositions.”
Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s Children Choir, under the direction of Nancy Humphries, will sing the opening hymn, “The Coventry Carol.”
The Christmas carol, which dates from the 16th century, references the Massacre of the Infants from the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, the Scriptural account of King Herod’s order that all male children 2 years old and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity be killed.
Victoria McGrath, a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, will conduct a choir formed specifically for the celebration. It includes members of Mount Carmel’s choir, the Bucks County Chorale Society and the Palisades Chorale Society of Palisades Township in northern Bucks County.
A variety of musicians will accompany them via violin, French horn, bass and organ.
Bridget Salantri, a member of the rosary group at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, suggested the Haydn production for her parish’s Holy Innocents celebration after recently hearing the music and researching its history.
Salantri encourages one and all to come to the Dec. 28 Mass. “It’s a beautiful production and provides an opportunity for prayers for the well-being of all newborns and asks for healing in families who have lost unborn children,” she said.
“It’s a beautiful setting, particularly during the Christmas season with the decorations, to see a work of art come to life,” added Father Hagan.
A reception will follow in the parish hall.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is located at 235 E. State Street in Doylestown.
For more information, call the parish office at 215-348-4190 or visit the web site www.ourladymtcarmel.org/specialevents.
CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or email@example.com.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103