Friday, December 9, 2011

Twelve days of Christmas

    I was  in LOST or what??!? 
    Preparing some fun activities for Sofia during Christmas ( will post here) I came across this excellent advent calendar at Just for fun magazine  that shocked me ( in the most pleasant way I must say!) . 
    Did you know that there is a (deep) meaning behind the song "Twelve days of Christmas"? 
    Well, maybe many of you out there knew and will laugh  at me, but I did not have a clue! (maybe because I am not originally from North America and did not grow up listening to this song).
     Oh, well. 
    I had to copy and paste the whole thing here, for it is so nice...
    "According to popular tradiiton, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly from 1558 until 1829. During that era this carol was written 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:
    1. "The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. A partridge often feigns injury to draw attention to herself and away from her young to protect them from danger. Because of its self sacrifice the partridge was used to represent Christ. 
    2. "Two turtle doves were the Old and the New Testaments. Because they have one mate for life turtle doves represent enduring relationships, such as the unbreakable bond between the Old and the New Testaments.
    3. Three french hens stood for the Holy Trinity-Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. 
    4. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. 
    5.The five Golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament. 
    6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. ( eggs representing new life). 
    7. The seven swans a-swimming represented  seven gifts of the Spirit (prophecy service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership and mercy). 
    8. The eight maids a-milking stand for the eight beatitudes which Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount to spell out blessings for the meek and lowly. 
    9. The nine ladies dancing represent the fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self control.
    10. The ten lords a-leaping stand for the law and leadership symbolized by the Ten Commandments. 
    11. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven disciples  who remained faithful to Christ.
    12. The twelve drummers drumming represented the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed. 
    I tried to explain to Sofia ( maybe she is to young to grasp all of it, but it is ok).
    I loved to know the meaning of the song. We sing it a lot around here and now, knowing the meaning of the lyrics, we will sing it with a renewed joy!

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