The frenzied excitement of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is over. The Christmas season continues for another 12 days—until Epiphany on January 6. Throughout the centuries, Christmas celebrations and traditions have changed dramatically. This Sunday I urge you to think about the traditions that your family follows. Consider the angels, the shepherds, Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, the visit of the Magi—the Wise Men. Is there a relationship between the biblical story and the Christmas trees, bells, decorations, holly and ivy, and other things that spring to mind when we think of Christmas? We’ll discuss a few of these things on Sunday. –Rev. Jan Parke
What do the 12 Days of Christmas Mean?
The song was written by Catholics in England as a catechism song to teach their children about the Christmas faith. The song’s “gifts” helped them remember the teachings of the faith.
“True Love” refers to God, “Me” refers to every Christian. The other symbols mean the following:
1 Partridge in a Pear Tree = Christ.
2 Turtle Doves = The Old & New Testaments
3 French Hens = The Father, Son and Holy Spirit Trinity
4 Calling Birds = The Four Gospels
5 Golden Rings = First Five Books of the Old Testament
6 Geese-A-Laying = The Six Days of Creation
7 Swans-A·Swimming = The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:8-10).
8 Maids-A-Milking = The Eight Beatitudes (Mathew-5:3-10)
9 Ladies Dancing = The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5·22·23).
10 Lords-A-Leaping: The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
11 Pipers Piping = Eleven Apostles, not Judas.
12 Drummers Drumming = The Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed.
Now that you understand the meaning behind the song, you may not hear it the same again!