The Meaning of The Twelve Days Of Christmas

          Submitted by Ed Lopez

          Have you ever  wanted to know about the 12 days  of Christmas and
          it's  meaning? well, here is the thought for the day.

          There is one Christmas Carol that  has always baffled me. What in
          the world  do leaping  lords, French  hens,  swimming swans,  and
          especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have
          to do with Christmas?  I found out at a luncheon at church.

          From 1558  until  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.

          One 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.
          Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke &
          John.
          Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books
          of the Old Testament.
          Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
          Seven swans a-swimming  represented the seven  fold gifts of  the
          Holy    Spirit--Prophesy,    Serving,    Teaching,   Exhortation,
          Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
          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.
          Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
          Eleven pipers  piping stood  for the  eleven faithful  disciples.
          Twelve drummers drumming  symbolized the twelve points  of belief
          in the Apostles' Creed.

          So there  is your  history for today.  This knowledge  was shared
          with me and  I found it  interesting and  enlightening and now  I
          know how that strange song  became a Christmas Carol...so pass it
          on!

                HAPPY  HOLIDAYS
                        AND
                      GOD BLESS CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE
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