OK everybody – it’s time to look over the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”and divulge its true meaning!!! (Thanks to my Facebook friend Paulette Thomas for sharing this info first… Catholic News Agency’s website confirmed it for me.)
In my own words:
The years 1558 to 1829 were the bad old days for those who practiced their Catholic faith in England: Protestantism was considered the state religion; the attitude there was practice that or else!! As a result, someone decided to create a catechism for children that would resemble a secular song. Each of the numbers has a coded religious reality.
First of all: The “True Love”: Think back to John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world..”) ; It means that God loved this sinful world enough to give it a Redeemer – born as a helpless mestizo baby. As the Catholic News Agency puts it, “truly Love was born on Christmas Day.” It therefore follows that this True Love would die on the cross at the hands of Roman soldiers in order to forgive our sins and open the door to eternal life.
(When Paulette Thomas shared this, she mentioned that Ann Ball had written the following in her book “Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals”. Again I am using my own words but I am using the numbers in reverse order.)
The twelve drummers drumming are the 12 points of faith in the Apostles’ Creed. To look at those points just go to http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/the-apostles-creed.html
The eleven pipers piping... well…Let’s go back to the original Apostles who had worked with Jesus during his earthly ministry. If you recall, Judas Iscariot decided it would be a good idea to betray him for 30 pieces of silver. After Judas hanged himself, the number of original apostles was down to eleven. There you go.
The ten lords-a-leaping… how many Commandments did God give Moses during that summit on Mount Sinai?
For the nine ladies dancing…let’s look at Galatians 5:22: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (NLT)
Eight maids a-milking stood for the number of Beatitudes Jesus uttered during his Sermon on the Mount.
Seven swans a -swimming are represented by what Catholics call the Holy Spirit’s sevenfold gifts: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
Six geese a -laying? How many days did God take to create the heavens and the earth?
Five golden rings? Those are the first books of the Old Testament – considered the Torah in the Jewish faith. They deal with the sins of our earlier ancestors as well as that great trek through the wilderness that shows that people need God. Moses did drop a hint in Deuteronomy that one day a savior would come for us all (He used the word Prophet).
Each of the four calling birds represents one of the Gospels (Now that shouldn’t be hard to figure out; they’re the books that start off the New Testament).
Three French hens? Well, here’s what Paul had to say about those: (1 Corinthians 13.13. NLT):”Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
The Old and New Testaments are represented by the two turtledoves.
Finally…. let’s discuss the partridge in a pear tree. The red-legged partridge is native to England. The male bird tends to stay around the nest to protect the chicks and will even feign injury to do so when predators arrive. Any young Catechism student looking at this would automatically associate this with the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us all.
I trust you won’t think of “The Twelve Days of Christmas ” the same way again.