We’ve all heard the favorite Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. What many folks have forgotten is that the original meaning of the song was deeply religious and very symbolic. One interpretation of the meaning of the song is as follows:
The partridge in a pear tree represents Christ.
Two turtle doves represent the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens represent the virtues of faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds represent the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings represent the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying recall the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit—Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking represent 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 represent the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of belief in the Creed.
The next time we hear or sing of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, let us think of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God Who was born into the world to be the Light of the World so that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but would have life everlasting.
**Christ is Born! Glorify Him! **
(From an article in “The Eastern Catholic Life” newspaper)