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THE LEGEND OF 'THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' CAROL

 
 
Misti26
 
Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 10:55 pm
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. Have you ever
wondered about THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS? 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? Today,
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 turtledoves 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.
So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me
and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that
strange song became a Christmas Carol...
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Thinkzinc
 
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Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 06:40 pm
Very interesting, I didn't realise the song had a hidden meaning. Thanks!
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