Twelve Drummers Drumming

(NOTE: This series of blogs covers the twelve days of Christmas – Dec. 25th through Jan. 5th – and is based on the Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.)


“On the twelfth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, twelve Drummers Drumming…”

Well, we have reached the end of this incredibly long song. By now many people have taken all their decorations down and returned to work and school. Christmas is a distant memory. Now our longing is for spring and Easter. But we still have one more day and one more stanza.

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, twelve Drummers Drumming…”

No parade is complete without drummers drumming, keeping the beat. What do these drummers represent? What has “kept” the beat throughout Christian history? The twelve drummers represent the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed.

The Apostles Creed, developed sometime in the 4th or 5th century, has stood the test of time, and is the foundation of Orthodox Christianity. On this last day of Christmas, it wll serve us well to read, and reflect, on this ancient creed. (I have placed numbers beside the twelve key points):

(1)  I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth

(2)  And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;

(3)  Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,

(4)  Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;

(5)  He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;

(6)  He ascended into Heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

(7)  From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

(8)  I believe in the Holy Spirit,

(9)  The Holy Universal Church, the communion of saints,

(10) The forgiveness of sins,

(11)  The resurrection of the body, and

(12)  Life everlasting.

Thank you for reading these blogs over the last twelve days. Now, maybe next year, when you hear this song, you will not find it as annoying. But I make no guarantees.

God bless.


Now for a final review, counting backward:

The twelve Drummers Drumming are the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed.

The eleven Pipers Piping are the eleven faithful disciples (minus Judas).

The ten Lords a Leaping are the Ten Commandments.

The nine Ladies Dancing are the nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit.

The eight Maids A-Milking are the eight Beatitudes.

The seven Swans A-Swimming are the seven motivational (creational) gifts of the Spirit.

The six Geese A-laying are the six days of Creation.

The five Golden Rings (ring-necked pheasants) are the first five books of the Old Testament.

The four Calling Birds (colly birds, or black birds like ravens) are the four Gospels.

The three French Hens are faith, hope, and love.

The two Turtle Doves are the Old and New Testaments.

The Partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.


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