Greetings! Happy sixth day of Christmas to you all!
(Here, I brought you "six geese a'laying", aren't they cute?)
I very much like that song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas", but I especially like the hidden messages it carries in its lyrics about our Catholic Faith. Do you know the message I'm referring to?
For the benefit of this post, I'll just assume that you don't ;)
I first learned the story of this old carol many years ago in one of my English workbooks, maybe in 5th Grade? The story goes like this:
During the time of the Protestant Revolt in England under Queen Elizabeth I when Catholics were forced to practice there religion in secret, the hunted Jesuit priests who bravely remained would teach the little children to sing this seemingly nonsense song as a way of instructing them in their Catechism. You see, each phrase of the song acted as a mnemonic for a particular Truth of the Faith, one for each of the twelve days of the Christmas Season, lasting from December 26th to the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th.
(Faithful Irish Catholics attending a "house Mass" despite persecution at the cost of their lives.)
The "secret messages" contained in the song look something like this:
"My True Love sent to me" = God the Father, Who sent His Son Jesus into the world to die for our sins.
"A partridge in a pear tree" = Jesus Christ is the "partridge" and the "tree" is the Cross on which He was crucified.
"Two turtle doves" = The Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
"Three French hens" = The virtues of faith, hope and charity or the gifts of the Three Wisemen to the Christ Child.
"Four calling birds" = Represents the four gospels, "calling" all people to Christ.
"Five golden rings" = The Pentateuch, or first five books of the Bible.
"Six geese a-laying" = God created the world in six days.
"Seven swans a-swimming" = The seven sacraments or seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
"Eight maids a-milking" = The eight beatitudes revealed to us by Jesus.
"Nine ladies dancing" = Referring to the nine choirs of angels: Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Virtues, Seraphim, and Cherubim.
"Ten lords a-leaping" = God's Ten Commandments given to us through Moses.
"Eleven pipers piping" = The number of apostles who remained faithful to Our Lord.
And my favorite!
"Twelve drummers drumming" = There are twelve points of doctrine contained in the Apostles' Creed, which is what this final line refers to.
Isn't this cool!?! So next time you hear this song playing, you can think about all of the meaning behind some of those words we sing. It is far more than a nonsense song for children!
Can you believe that it's already the end of 2017? I certainly can't believe it. Isn't it strange how time passes us by the way it does, sometimes feeling fast and breathless, sometimes slow and lingering on endlessly? It's fascinating and weird and perhaps a bit unsettling at times, but that's what I think makes it so valuable!
This has been an amazing year! I think after four years of blogging here I have finally felt comfortable, like I can just have fun and write from my heart without holding back or being self-conscious.
And you know what? I have all of you to thank for that. No, I'm serious! Knowing that there's even one person reading my insignificant little scribblings I create here is a great feeling, but I know that there's more than just one person tuning in here to every post, and that's kind of amazing to me! Know that I appreciate your reading and commenting, your encouragement always makes me smile, dear. So thank you, and I hope you are given every blessing in the coming year ahead!
Here's to 2018!