Posted by: marynodded | October 25, 2008

Brief Explanation for the title “Mary Nodded”.

I am planning to reveal the reason for this on December, but it seemed to be more adequate to tell it simultaneously with this web log’s making. I decided to reveal it now. Nevertheless, I might make a deeper and elaborated explanation for this ‘Mary Nodded” title this Christmas season.

I derived the title from the lyrics of the Christmas carol, “A Little Drummer Boy”. It is a narrative carol whose main characters are the Wise Men (who said the lines “Come, they told me” and “Our finest gifts we bring”), Mary, The Baby Jesus, and the Drummer Boy. “Mary Nodded” was taken from the first line of the third stanza of the song.

What impressed me is the way the phrase has been applied so to give way to a heartwarming scene afterwards. The carol’s scene is simple. A new borne baby in the manger who is the Messiah, the mother who is Mary and the ox and mule around them. The drummer boy has been invited by the Wise Men, with all their gifts, too see the new born King. The drummer boy, aware of his own lack yet not his unworthiness, admitted his poverty before the babe by confessing it to Him. Yet, the boy did not lose heart and with innocence he wished to let him play his drum for the new born child. It is in that point that Mary nodded.


A drum may not be like other instruments and may not have the tune to be played pleasantly , but it is the closest to mimic the beat of a heart 🙂

What is interesting about this is that after Mary’s “nod”, which is clearly the approval of the Blessed Mother, the child without much ado played his drum at his best. The tender scene of a child giving homage to another child in the way a child could give is a definitely simple yet profound picture. This had touched the heart of many when they hear this Christmas carol, and the gift of drumbeat the drummer boy had given the Messiah was gratified by the Babe’s smile. That smile may have sparked in the heart of the drummer boy forever.

The story speaks for itself and has retained the essences of godliness: simplicity, child-like trust, innocence and humility. The child, who is God-made-man, has chosen to be a helpless weakling in the midst of that night’s cold wind, and the boy, who has nothing but his drum, offered his talent of drum-beating as a simple gesture of faith and innocent selflessness. Mary, a mother of genuine simplicity and humility, had understood all of these and acting as the authority of the scene, granted the drummer boy the approval to let her Child be honored by him and by everyone, rich (the Magi) and poor (shepherds and the boy).

Though this story is apocryphal (and fictitious) in nature, it is wonderful to realize that this carol has been sung by many, Catholics and Protestants alike. With it’s solemn and gracious tune this has been loved by people who loved Christmas. Protestants had learned many about Mary when talking about Christmas carols, and this carol is one of them, applying common sense that a mother is a child authority (even if it is God himself). For Catholics, it is even more profound than that. Mary has been recognized and is chosen by God in the first place to be the mother of his Son. This privilege last not only at Christmas but throughout eternity, for God is eternity even in the form of a babe. Mary belongs in the scene and her nod will be always at sync with God’s approval, leading to God’s own manifestation of glory.


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