May The Joy Of The Christmas Season Stay With You And Your Family Thru The Coming Years


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Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from ANY practice of their faith by law - private OR public. It was a crime to BE a Catholic. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith - a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in *writing* indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head - or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I'm not aware was ever practiced anywhere else. Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging a person by the neck until they had almost, but not quite, suffocated to death; then the party was taken down from the gallows, and disembowelled while still alive; and while the entrails were still lying on the street, where the executioners stomped all over them, the victim was tied to four large farm horses, and literally torn into five parts - one to each limb and the remaining torso. The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..." On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.
(True Love refers to God)

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The two Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testaments

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The three French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, five golden rings, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The five Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The six Geese A-laying refers to the six days of creation)
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The seven Swans A-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments)

On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eight maids a milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The eight Maids A-milking refers to the eight beatitudes) On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The nine Ladies Dancing refers to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, ten lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The ten Lords A-leaping refers to the ten commandments

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave 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, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The eleven Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles

On the twelf day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 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, our calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
(The twelve Drummers Drumming refers to the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed)

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