12 Days of Christmas


#1

At our Carol Service with Children’s nativity play this evening, one of the reading’s explained the significance of the Carol ‘12 days of Christmas’ . It was a covert catechism from English penal times.

I thought about typing it out but got lazy and did a google search which provided the following link, which was broadly similar. Fascinating stuff.

catholicherald.com/saunders/02ws/ws020103.htm


#2

The story seems to have been generally debunked as a hoax.

The “covert catechism” part doesn’t seem to make sense, simply because most of the things presumably “taught” by the carol are held by the Anglicans as well (with the possible exception of the 7 Sacraments, and then I think they believe in them if I’m not mistaken).


#3

I already have it typed…used it for my CCD Classes for years…

[font=Wingdings]­[/font]** **The 12 Days of Christmas [font=Wingdings]­[/font]

In the Church “Christmas” refers to a twelve-day period that starts with Christmas day. This is where “The Twelve Days of Christmas” comes from. The world celebrates Christmas for twelve hours, but the Church celebrates it for twelve days because the gift of Christ is with us for twelve months of the year.

The 12 Days of Christmasthe song

When most people hear of “The 12 days of Christmas” they think of the song. This song had its origins as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of the Christian faith. From 1558 to 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not able to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on their beliefs. The song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is one example of how they did it. “The 12 Days of Christmas” is in a sense an allegory. Each of the items in the song represents something of religious significance. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help young Christians learn their faith.

The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… "The "true love” represents God and the “me” who receives these presents is the Christian.

continued


#4

continued

A “Partridge in Pear Tree” - Was Jesus Christ who died on a tree as a gift from God.

Two “Turtle Doves” Were the Old & New Testaments – another gift from God.

Three “French Hens” Were Faith, Hope and Love – The 3 gifts of the Spirit that abide.

Four “Calling Birds” Were the four Gospels, which sing the song of salvation through Jesus

Christ: Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

Five “Golden Rings” Were the first five books of the Bible also called the “Books of Moses” or the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy.

Six “Geese a Laying” Symbolizes God’s six days of creation.

Seven “Swans a Swimming” Were the “Seven Gifts” of the Holy Spirit: Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

**Eight “Maids a Milking” **Were the Eight Beatitudes: Blessed are The Poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God,
Blessed are they who are persecuted for His Namesake for theirs is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are The Meek for they shall Inherit the Land.

Blessed are They That Mourn for they shall Be Comforted

Blessed are They Who Hunger and Thirst after Justice Sake for they Shall be Filled.

Blessed are The Merciful for they shall Obtain Mercy.

Blessed are The Pure of Heart for they shall See God.

Blessed are The Peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God

Nine “Ladies Dancing” Were the nine “Fruits” of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faith, Gentleness & Self-control.

Ten “Lords a Leaping”Were the Ten Commandments I. Thou shall have no other gods before Me. II. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain. III. Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy. IV. Honor thy father and mother. V. Thou shall not kill. V1. Thou shall not commit adultery. VII. Thou shall not steal. VIII. Thou shall not bear false witness.

IX. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife. X. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

Eleven “Pipers Piping” Were the eleven faithful disciples: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, the less, Simon & Jude.

Twelve “Drummers Drumming” Were the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed: I. I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven & Earth. II. I Believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. III. He was Conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit & was Born of the Virgin Mary. IV. Jesus Christ Suffered Under Pontius Pilate, was Crucified, Died and was Buried. V. He descended to the Dead on the Third Day He Rose Again. VI. He Ascended into Heaven and is Seated at the Right hand of the Father. VII. From Thence He will Come Again to Judge the Living & the Dead. VIII. I Believe in The Holy Sprit. IX. I Believe in The Holy Catholic Church. X. I Believe in The Forgiveness of Sins. XI. I Believe in The Resurrection of the Body. XII. I Believe in the Life Everlasting. Amen


#5

Here are the references to the song’s “origin” and the grains of salt:

truthorfiction.com/rumors/t/twelvedaysofchristmas.htm
snopes.com/holidays/christmas/12days.asp


#6

[quote=porthos11]The story seems to have been generally debunked as a hoax.

The “covert catechism” part doesn’t seem to make sense, simply because most of the things presumably “taught” by the carol are held by the Anglicans as well (with the possible exception of the 7 Sacraments, and then I think they believe in them if I’m not mistaken).
[/quote]

Thanks for the info Porthos, but I found it was an excellent teaching tool for the Christmas season…the kids loved it!
Annunciata:)


#7

[quote=Annunciata]Thanks for the info Porthos, but I found it was an excellent teaching tool for the Christmas season…the kids loved it!
Annunciata:)
[/quote]

Hi Annunciata,

Oh, that’s no problem at all. :slight_smile: Just because the “origins” are debunked doesn’t mean you can’t actually use it to those ends.

God bless you and your continued work on the CCD. The Church needs good people like you.


#8

The Politically Correct Days of Christmas

by Larry Nolte

[left]
On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:
[/left]
[left]TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),

TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,

SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic
incarceration,
[/left]
[left](NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)
[/left]
[left]FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,

THREE deconstructionist poets,

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and…

ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.
[/left]
[left]Merry Christmas Happy Chanukah. Good Kwanzaa. Blessed Yule. Oh, heck! Happy Holidays!!! (unless otherwise prohibited by law) *
[/left]

[left]**: Unless, of course, you are suffering from Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD). If this be the case, please substitute this gratuitous call for celebration with suggestion that you have a thoroughly adequate day.
*
[/left]
All material copyright © 1997 by James Akin unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
cin.org/users/james/files/12_days.htm


#9

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