The Twelve Days of Christmas

December 24, 2008

Everyone knows the familiar carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” but have you ever thought of the meaning behind the lyrics? In fact it’s been said that the carol is about the hidden meanings of the Christian Faith. The Twelve Days refer to the days between Christmas and Epiphany, the day when it is said that the Three Wise Men arrived to pay homage to the Christ Child. Some believe it was used as a way to teach the catechism to children. There’s no concrete proof either way, but it’s an interesting theory. The following is the explanation of the symbolism in this song.

Jesus represents the Partridge in a Pear Tree, symbolically expressing a mother hen protecting her chicks.

Luke 13:34.

The Two Turtle Doves. The Old and New Testaments.

Three French Hens. Three virtues of the Christian Faith:

Faith, Hope, Love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Four Calling Birds. The Four Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Five Gold Rings. The Torah, or the first Five Books of the Old Testament:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Six Geese A Laying. The Six Days of Creation. Genesis 1.

Seven Swans A Swimming. The gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Prophecy, Ministry, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, leading, Compassion.

Romans 12:6-8 and Corinthians 12:8-11.

Eight Maids A Milking. The eight Beatitudes. Mathew 5:3-10.

Nine Ladies Dancing. The nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Galatians 5:22

Ten Lords A Leaping. The Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:1-17.

Eleven Pipers Piping. The Eleven Apostles, not including Judas Iscariot. Luke 6:14-16.

Twelve Drummers Drumming. The Twelve principles of The Apostles Creed.


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