Saturday, December 17
The Twelve days of Christmas are between Christmas and Epiphany or “We Three Kings, The Magi or Three Wise Men Day”, January 6th. It is thought by some that it took the Three Wise Men twelve days to travel to Bethlehem. In the Catholic Church Christmas season doesn’t officially begin until Christmas Day and ends when the Wise Men bring gifts to their Savior, baby Jesus, in Bethlehem. Few practice this tradition of giving in the United States but some still do.
The Christmas carol is thought to be written by a Catholic and an Englishman, as the song originates from Great Britain, sometime before or during the 16th century. It was popular in Great Britain and Scandinavia during this time, which is why many believe that the song had a powerful sub message due to persecution. We may never know for sure but the attributed meanings are still very relevant and for those who want to teach their children a few Bible lessons, this song is a wonderful tool. I plan on teaching it to my grandchildren when they are a little older.
In the early 20th century, Frederick Austin wrote an arrangement where he added his melody from “Five Gold Rings” onwards (The New Oxford Book of Carols), which has since become the melody we know and love today.
Here are the interpretations and many churches have revised them to suit their teachings and doctrines. I have added scripture when possible to help with teaching and understanding.
My True Love — God (The Trinity – three in one) Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, John 14:6, John 17:11, 20-22, 1 John 5:7
Me — The Baptized Christian
Partridge in a Pear Tree — Jesus Christ our Savior
Two Turtle Doves — The Old and New Testaments
Three French Hens — Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 13)
Four Calling Birds — The Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Five Gold Rings — The First Five Books of the Bible (Pentateuch)
Six Geese A-Laying — The Six Days of Creation (Genesis 1)
Seven Swans A-Swimming — The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14, Isaiah 11: 2-3)
Eight Maids A-Milking — The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12)
Nine Ladies Dancing — The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
Ten Lords A-Leaping — The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21, Matthew 22: 36-40)
Eleven Pipers Piping — The Eleven Faithful Disciples
Twelve Drummers Drumming — The Twelve Points of the Apostle’s Creed, The Twelve Tribes of Israel, The Twelve Days of Christmas
at 9:19 PM