Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Twelve Days of Christmas

We are now in the Christmas season, celebrating twelve special days counting down to the Epiphany when we honor when the three kings followed the star to find the King.

This two hundred and fifty year old song counts the days to Epiphany teaching the catechism for memorization by using the numerical references from our faith for the items in the song, giving us something to meditate on each of the twelve days of Christmas. It dates to the time of Henry VIII when practicing the Catholic faith was banned.

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

God is each of our true love, the song represents each one of us.
The partridge represents Jesus,
The Pear tree His manger, His cross

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Two parts of Christ's nature: both God and Man
or
Two parts of sacred scripture: Old and New Testaments


On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Three Theological virtues:
Faith, Hope and Charity
or
Three persons on the Blessed Trinity:
Father, Son and Holy Ghost
or
Three Wise Men

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Four Evangelists:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

The first five books of the Old Testament: 
Pentateuch, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Six Days of Creation:
1-Creation of light, separate from darkness, 
2 - Creation of firmament and separation of waters. 
3 - form dry land and oceans
                  4-Creations of sun, moon and stars, 
5-Creations of water creatures and water fowl, 
6- Creation of creeping things, beats and man

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Seven Sacraments:
Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist,
Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Extreme Unction
or
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
wisdom, understanding, council, fortitude, knowledge,
piety and fear of the Lord
On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Eight Beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blesses are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.
On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Nine choirs of angels   

Angels
   Archangels
   Principalities
Powers
Virtues
    Dominations
Thrones
Cherubim
Seraphim

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

The Ten Commandments
1- I am The Lord thy God, have no gods before me.
2 - Do not take the name of the God in vain
3 - Keep holy the sabbath day
4 - Honor thy mother and father
5 - Thou shall not kill
6 - Thou shall not commit adultery
7 - Thou shall not steal
8 - Thou shalt not bear false witness to thy neighbor
9 - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife
10 - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

The Eleven faithful apostles:
Simon Peter
Andrew
James the Greater
James the Lesser
John
Simon
Thomas
Matthew
Philip
Jude Thaddeus
Bartholomew

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

The Twelve articles of the Apostles Creed:
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
2. And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into Hell; on the third day He rose from the dead.
6. He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
7. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints,
10. The forgiveness of sins,
11. The resurrection of the body,
12. And life everlasting. Amen.