The Twelve Days of Christmas

Posted on December 1, 2023.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is the song for this month. I got this from some papers Virginia gave me from when she used to do the newsletter. It was an email she got from a friend back in 2013. I found it interesting and thought it appropriate for the season. A few musings that might be of interest
There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the stupid partridge who refuses to come out of the pear tree. have to do with Christmas? This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two
levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol is a code phrase for a religious reality, which the children could remember.
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and Now testaments
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law. the first five books of the Old Testament which describe man's fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Savior.
The six geese a laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation. Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience [Forbearance], Goodness [Kindness], Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Continency [Chastity].
The ten lords a leaping were the ten commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol....!
Merry Christmas Everyone