Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the Secret of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Rhonda and I sang the Twelve Days of Christmas on Friday night at a Christmas party for Frontier Knit. It was a last minute addition and somewhere in the back of my mind...I knew that this beloved song had a spiritual meaning but could not remember what it was. I went home and googled it and this is what I found. I wanted to share it with you all. People often think of the Twelve Days of Christmas as the days preceding the festival. Actually, Christmas is a season of the Christian Year that last for days beginning December 25th and lasting until January 6th - the Day of Epiphany - when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the Light Of The World, and recalls the journey of the Magi. From 1558 until 1829 people in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During this era someone wrote the "Twelve Days of Christmas" as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two levels of interpretation: "the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church." Each element in the carol is a code word for religious reality.
1. The partridge in a pear tree is Christ
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments
3. The three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the torah (Law) the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.
9. The nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.
12. The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the 12 points of belief in the Apostles Creed.
There you have it, the Hidden meaning of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" and the secret behind the song. Next time you sing it...think about the underlying message it proclaimed in England so many years ago.

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Andy Kinman said...

I am such a party pooper.

But I mean well. :)