STOP THE PRESSES: Young people sing in the Illinois State Capitol

I have written about the


composition of Philip Stopford, “Lully, Lulla, Lullay”.

This is the “Conventry Carol” about the Holy Innocents, a carol in some ways so heart-piercing that it seems out of step with Christmastide, except that the joyous season embraces also Childermas, and that the wood of the crib foretells the wood of the Cross.

The words of this lullaby of perfect pain are:

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his owne sight,
All young children to slay.
That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

A choir from St. John Cantius in Chicago, of young people, went to the Illinois state capitol building and sang it in the rotunda.

As you know, Illinois is working on hideous laws, extreme Party of Death laws.

Dems. Herodians.

Fr. Z kudos.


UPDATE 26 March 2019:

This came to my email:

I saw your recent post on the singing of the Coventry Carol in the Illinois capitol building and thought you might be interested in this.

After hearing about the recent developments in NY and elsewhere of increased abortion and infanticide, I developed a small website about devotion to the Holy Innocents for the cessation of these evils. It’s based on the Redemptorist tradition of celebrating Little Christmas on the 25th of each month, only this is for a Little Innocents Day on the 28th of each month. There are resources (currently in progress) for liturgical and devotional prayers, locations where these devotions are celebrated publicly, a monthly reminder email list, etc. I hope to contact ordinaries as I get the time, or at least encourage priests to do so for their own ordinaries, to ask them to allow their priests to celebrate a Votive Mass and/or Office of the Holy Innocents on this day as well. The website is

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jjbulano says:


  2. TheBackPew says:

    Another legacy of Fr. Frank Phillips. There are more young parishioners in this video, embracing their faith and each other, and carrying the battle to the heart of the enemy, than there were total parishioners at that wreck of a church when he arrived. Well done.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    So beautiful and heartbreaking.

  4. rally1042 says:

    My heart sings Hope. Youth witnessing their faith is always such a lift.

  5. NBW says:

    It is just beautiful to hear this song! We here in Illinois are battling so many anti-life and anti family laws. They just keep coming with a vengeance. Please pray for us and for the people who are trying to push these terrible laws.

  6. Spinmamma says:

    So moving, for so many reasons. We are again reminded of the power of beautiful music to make the point as no spoken word or signs could. Bless all involved with this event, and prayers (always) for Heaven’s help in opposing the recent horrific death laws.

  7. grateful says:

    Here is a quote at the end of the article from their website
    “Hope reminds us to find the goodness in the world, the goodness that is worth fighting for. Hope is the antidote to fear. Fear makes up our nightmares and causes more chaos within our discontented world. Yet hope is found within our dreams, and it helps us to form visions for the future.
    The Crusaders for Life spread the good news of Jesus Christ. We fight for truth, we stand for hope. We are encouraged by a simple quote from Carl Sandburg, “A Baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

  8. grateful says:

    and there is a beautiful video about St John Cantius Church

  9. JamesA says:

    Herodians, indeed.
    Beautiful, haunting music in a great display of faith and hope for a world wherein babies are not butchered before birth.
    And that last photo Father – priceless. Ditto.

    V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix.
    R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

  10. CanukFrank says:

    That is staggering! How beautiful

  11. Michael Haz says:

    From St. John Cantius? Well, watch out before Abp Cupich solves this *problem*.

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    Well done St. John Cantius, students, and Crusaders. Great post and comments.

    In that video there is a glimpse of a Lincoln statue. It’s heartening to see in this Choir the Holy Spirit at work against the Herodians in the Land of Lincoln and Reagan.

    “For the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and of death.” – Romans 8:2

  13. Maineman1 says:

    Will Cardinal Cupich hold them accountable for not accompanying this MAJESTIC music with rain sticks and electric guitars?

  14. bookworm says:

    Oh wow, I wish I’d been there! There was also a HUGE pro-life rally earlier this week (Wednesday, March 20) that drew over 3,000 people…. between that crowd, a smaller unrelated rally (gun control advocates), and the crowds typical of a session day, people were being turned away from the Capitol building at one point because they literally couldn’t get inside.

    Additionally, the worst of the pro-abortion/infanticide bills appear to have stalled — they’ve been assigned to legislative “subcommittees”, which generally is what happens to bills that no one really wants to touch with a 10-foot pole. However, this is no time to let down our guard, so keep sending those letters/e-mails, praying, fasting, etc.

  15. Fallibilissimo says:

    Well, that’s impressive. Looking at those young people together, holding each other, singing in a great big circle reminds me of something Gustave Doré would engrave from reading Paradiso.
    And it is heavenly, it truly is. Tough times all around, most of them are hells of our own making. The battle on the plains of sin, I gather for many of us mere mortals, is a failure and the crests of the everlasting hills seem so faint, so far…maybe some of us won’t make it, not for me to say, but it really is a moment of respite for the beaten soul to experience something so genuinely beautiful. It’s so unmerited, that no matter one’s spiritual condition it moves the heart and lips to say thank you to God for making it all happen, all His gracious beauty. To think there is a place where all this beauty comes from and where blessed souls know these things for ever…yeah…tears here too Fr. Thanks for posting this.

  16. Can’t help contrasting this to the whistle-blowing, trash-throwing, obscenity-shouting, blaspheming, pudenda-costume-wearing (when they aren’t actually naked) harpies who demonstrate FOR the killing of babies.

    The devil worked assiduously for many years to cultivate in people a preference for ugliness over beauty and chaos over order, in order for the harpies and their causes to be taken seriously. Has no one ever considered the role of ugly churches in making us docile footsoldiers of hell?

  17. exNOAAman says:

    On the last…..
    John 11:35

  18. bookworm says:

    “Has no one ever considered the role of ugly churches in making us docile foot soldiers of hell?”

    Or the role of ugly civic/government buildings in the deterioration of civic life and society. The capitol building in this video was built between 1868 and 1877…. in an era when people took pride in beautiful public spaces. While beautiful surroundings are obviously no guarantee against evil and rash actions taking place there, I don’t think it’s just coincidence that regimes like the Soviets, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. start by tearing down everything “old” or classic.

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