Monday, December 7, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas

This is another part of the email that went along with the pictures of the Christmas trees in my last post.  Don't know how true this is but I found it interesting and wanted to share it.

There is one Christmas carol that has always baffled me.  What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans and especially the partridge who won't 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 has a code word 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 New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & 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.

4 showed me some love:

Zuzana said...

Ah, I somehow knew this, or at least I have a recollection of being explain this in the past, but thank you again for the clarification.;) Now I have learned something from you.;)
I really want to thank you for being my most beloved and a very true reader. I so appreciate that you stop by every day and I love your comments. I am glad you enjoyed my post about the sofa and I feel for you in regards to how you miss your cat...
I am sometimes out of time these days to respond to all the comments I receive individually, but be sure that I read them all very carefully.
Have a lovely Monday,

Diana Chiew said...

That's interesting to know. Thanks for sharing.

Sketching with Dogs said...

That is really interesting, I have never heard that before but it does sound right for the song.

Cocorue said...

that's an eye opener and so interesting and now, i know...thanks


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