Did you know this?
From 1558 to 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 and 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.
MERRY (Twelve Days of) CHRISTMAS!
And so, let us remember, that it is not OK to say “Happy Holiday” – when did that all come about?
As CHRISTmas approaches, let us remember that it is a Christian celebration of Christ’s birth! In order to give Him the praise and the glory – let us remember to say loudly and clearly to those we meet; to those we send greeting cards to; to them all let us say: HAPPY CHRISTMAS one and all!