Online Gamer, Basketball Player, Mountaineer, Recreational Runner, Blogger, Weekend Warrior

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. Have you ever wondered about THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS?

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans and especially the partridge that won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? Today, 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 catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus the hidden meaning known only to members of their church.

Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children would remember. Let's list them one by one.

• the partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ
Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testatment
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
• 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, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control
• 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

Advanced Merry Christmas to All!!!

Disclaimer: this article is not my original work, I was doing a general cleaning and was amazed to find such treasures just lying in my drawers. They circulated in e-mails 5 years ago (and I made sure I had a printed copy of them) and I thought it is worth sharing to everyone I know. I will post more stuff similar to these the next days and weeks. For now, I will keep these treasures in one "memory box".

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Online Gamer, Basketball Player, Mountaineer, Recreational Runner, Blogger, Comedian, Weekend Warrior, part-time TriAthlete (Kain, Tulog, Gala)