"Twelve Days of Christmas"
When most people hear "The 12 Days of Christmas"
they think of the song. This song had it's origins as a teaching
tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of
the Christian faith.
From 1558 to 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not able
to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways
to pass on their beliefs. The song "The Twelve Days of
Christmas" is one example of how they did it.
The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true
love gave to me . . ." The "true love" represents
God and the "me" who receives these presents is the
Christian. The "partridge in a pear tree" was Jesus
Christ who died on a tree as a gift from God.
The "two turtle doves" were the Old and New Testaments
- another gift from God.
The "three French hens" were faith, hope and love
- the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).
The "four calling birds" were the four Gospels which
sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The "five golden birds" were the first five books
of the Bible also called the "Book of Moses."
The "six geese a-laying" were the six days of creation.
The "seven swans a swimming" were "seven gifts
of the Holy Spirit."
(1 Corinthians 12:9-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11)
The "eight maids a-milking" were the eight beatitudes.
The "nine ladies dancing" were nine fruits of the
Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
The "ten lords a-leaping" were the Ten Commandments.
The "eleven pipers piping" were the eleven faithful
The "twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points
of the Apostles' Creed.
So the next time you hear "The 12 Days of Christmas"
consider how this otherwise non-religious sounding song had
its origins in the Christian Faith.
Merry Christmas & God Bless