12 Days of Christmas

refugees image

“The Flight into Egypt,” James Tissot

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season to celebrate the nativity of Jesus. In most Western Church traditions Christmas Day is the First Day of Christmas and the Twelve Days are 25 December – 5 January.
25th December: First Day of Christmas – Nativity of the Lord
26th December: Second Day of Christmas
27th December: Third Day of Christmas
28th December: Fourth Day of Christmas – Feast Day of the Holy Innocents
Malcolm Guite: ‘The poem from my Anthology Waiting on the Word reflects on the fact that today, the fourth day of Christmas, is the feast day of the Holy Innocents. It is the day the Church remembers the story, told in Matthew’s Gospel of the appalling cruelty and wickedness of Herod in ordering the massacre of innocent children, in a bid to protect his own power-base. Appalling, but only too familiar. What Herod did then, is still being done by so many present day Herods. This scarred and wounded world is the world into which Jesus was born, the world he came to save, and amongst those brought by his blood through the grave and gate of death and into the bliss of Heaven are those children of Bethlehem who died for his name without ever knowing him. But he knows them, as he knows and loves every child in Syria, and he says of them, to every Herod, ‘Whatsoever ye do unto the least of these, ye do it unto me.’
Refugee (click on link for sound file of this poem)
We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
Or cosy in a crib beside the font,
But he is with a million displaced people
On the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
Glancing behind and shouldering their load.
Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,
The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
And death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.
(Lyrics to Steve Bell’s version of this poem here, and music on soundcloud here.
A commentary on his blogsite about the song and the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman here).


29th December: Fifth Day of Christmas
30th December: Sixth Day of Christmas
31st December: Seventh Day of Christmas
1st January: Eighth Day of Christmas
2nd January: Ninth Day of Christmas
3rd January: Tenth Day of Christmas
4th January: Eleventh Day of Christmas
5th January: Twelfth Day of Christmas
6th January: Epiphany

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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