Posts Tagged ‘#epiphany’

During Advent and all the preparations for Christmas we generally hear many Christmas carols being sung. One popular song is the Twelve Days of Christmas. Every year on the radio I hear how much it would cost to purchase all the gifts mentioned in the songs. As great as a partridge in a pear tree is or twelve drummers drumming are they don’t reflect the true meaning of the song.  First of all, The Twelve Days of Christmas are not in the Advent season leading up to Christmas but are the Church’s celebration of the Christmas season starting with Christmas Day on December 25 and ending twelve days later with the celebration of Epiphany on January 6.

I did some research on the song and found out that it was written in England during the time when they changed to the Church of England and Catholics were persecuted. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was a crime to be a Catholic. The song was written as a method for Catholics to secretly learn the teachings of the faith.  The “true love” in the song who is giving the gifts is God while the “me” receiving the gifts are every baptized person. 

The meaning given to the gifts each day are as follows:

1 Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus Christ, Son of God

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”

6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments

8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords A-leaping = the Ten Commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

As we leave Christmas season and move back into ordinary time, we are starting a new calendar year.  Think of it as a second beginning in the middle of the school year: a priceless gift of time and an opportunity for growth.  Take a moment to look at ourselves and our world, to be mindful of God’s presence and to make decisions about the way we live.  How will we try to reflect more perfectly the loving kindness of our God and follow the example of Jesus and Mary? This January, make a resolution that is not so ordinary.  Spend time every single day giving thanks for the gifts that God has given us by developing an attitude of gratitude. Each day say “Thank you God for the gift of life. Today I am especially grateful for _____________________________.”  Give it a try and by the end of the year you will have 365 things that you are grateful for. A good place to start might be with the Catholic teachings in the Twelve Days of Christmas

Source for the Article: Catholic Online (The Origin of the 12 Days of Christmas)

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