Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen, where you get to learn little-known details about me or things important to me. For the complete list of this week’s participants, just head over to Thursday Thirteen.
I have loved the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for many years, but when I recently learned the true meaning of that song, I appreciated this carol even more. This is one of the favorites at my church too, and we always get great audience participation during our Christmas concerts.
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” has hidden meanings which were taught to Catholic children during times of persecution, much like the Jews used dreidels during their own times of persecution. Here’s what I learned on how to decipher the code:
- On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me; Who could possibly be my True Love? Why, God, is my True Love of course!
- A Partridge in a pear tree = The partridge is Jesus Christ (none of the sources I found said what the pear tree stood for, but I think it would be safe to think it is the cross);
- Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments;
- Three French Hens = Faith, Hope and Love;
- Four Calling Birds (some people claim it is Colley Birds or black birds) = The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John;
- Five Gold Rings = The Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament;
- Six Geese A-Laying = The six days of creation (on the seventh day God rested);
- Seven Swans A-Swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, wonder/awe in God);
- Eight Maids A-Milking = The eight Beatitudes
- Nine Ladies Dancing = The fruits of the Holy Spirit (from the Old Testament: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control);
- Ten Lords A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments;
- Eleven Pipers Piping = The eleven faithful disciples;
- Twelve Drummers Drumming = The twelve beliefs in the Apostles’ Creed