The Holy Innocents were the children massacred by King Herod in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16–18). Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta has found a way to honor the Holy Innocents of Our Day — the little girls and boys who die in Georgia from mistreatment, neglect or violence.
A special Tower Columbarium was constructed this year by the main entrance of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, and on June 12th, clergy and members of the church performed a blessing of this new burial site for Georgia children. The service signified Holy Innocents’ readiness to begin receiving children who have died from violence in Georgia and honor them with a place for burial.
The tragedy of children losing their lives to violence and cruelty is chronicled in the newspapers almost every day. The Office of Child Advocates suggests that of the nearly 1,800 children (0 – 17 years of age) who die in Georgia each year, 600-700 require special investigation due to neglect and abuse.
For us as Christians, that violence casts a shadow on the birth of the God-child Jesus into our world. For the parishioners of Holy Innocents’, the name of their church is a vivid reminder of the violent world into which Jesus was born, but also a reminder of the violent world we live in today.
With the recent completion of the Tower of the Holy Innocents and Columbarium, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church is proud to rededicate itself to serving children. For more than 140 years, children and their needs have been a part of the mission of Holy Innocents’ Church. From its founding in 1872 — with a mission of providing for widows and orphans of the Civil War — through the 1959 founding of its K-12, parish-based Episcopal School (now the largest in the U.S.), Holy Innocents’ is proud to work to serve the community by putting children first.
For more information about the Tower Columbarium or Holy Innocents’ work to care for children, please visit www.holyinnocents.org/mission/ or email Associate Rector the Rev. Joshua Case at firstname.lastname@example.org