( This was shared with me by email via a family member - it is a beautiful story and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!)
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?
This week, I found out.
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.
-The 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.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John .
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The 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.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The 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 if you wish.'
Hey!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) I actually haven't seen my package yet... sooo the postman must've taken the LONG way to Utah! ;) I'll make sure to let you know as SOON as I get it! Thanks again!!!
Oh... great post! I remember my Mom sharing this with me and I loved it... because I never knew what the heck that song was supposed to mean either!
Huh. I knew Catholics had to worship in secret for hundreds of years but never connected it with this carol. Thanks for sharing! :)
i knew this... could not recall all the meanings :) am so glad you posted it Imay have to borrow it :)
I had heard this a few years ago, but couldn't remember the significance of each days gift.
Thanks for posting this... I appreciate the help.
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