Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.
~ Eric Sevareid
For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world,
Okay, I’ll admit it. I really liked the idea that the Christmas Carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was a coded catechism in a song. I looked at the tenth day of Christmas and saw, “Ten lords a leaping.”
Visions of the 60’s when every one was every one’s partner in groups in the middle of the dance floor dancing the pony, the hully gully, the jerk, the swim...you know, early “liturgical dance.”(Just kidding…)
I loved the idea that these imaginary lords were leaping unto the Lord, and that they were the ten commandments in disguise.
Then I read SNOPES, which is not always accurate, sometimes very opinionated, and not always favorable toward spiritual matters. No matter what you believe about this lovely song, it is a good mnemonic device for remembering the faith story, and a great way to focus on the twelve days of Christmas. So…here, in all it’s shady glory is the wrong history of The Twelve Days of Christmas, complete with references:
1. A partridge in a pear tree. = Jesus Christ
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed
We are indeed here for someone other than ourselves.
“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?”