Today in the Church Calendar1 we remember the slaughter of the Innocents by Herod (Matt. 2:13-18). There can never be justification or explanation sufficient for the death of the innocent, wherever and whenever, and I will make no efforts to do so. But the prayer that we offer in the Episcopal Church offers a powerful and moving call for God to accept the innocent and thwart the evil.
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.