December 19, 2021
The 12 Days of Christmas
28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Today I would like to take the time to go over one of the more famous Christmas Carols that we sing and explain the meanings behind the lyrics as we have come to know them, that song is “The 12 days of Christmas” the 12 days of Christmas represents the 12 days between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi December 25th to January 6th (called the Epiphany) The history of the carol is somewhat murky. The earliest known version first appeared in a 1780 children’s book called Mirth With-out Mischief but the version that we all familiar with today comes from an English composer named Frederic Austin; in 1909, he set the melody to the lyrics that we all sing today.
The “True Love” Is God.
A Partridge in a Pear Tree is Jesus Christ (the scripture that it comes from is Matthew 23:37 (“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!)
The Two Turtle Doves are the Old and New Testaments
The Three French Hens are – the Trinity
- God the Father
- God the Son
- God the Holy Spirit
Or for some people it stands for
The Four Calling Birds are The Four Gospels/Gospel Writers
The Five Gold Rings are The Five Books of the Torah also known as the Books of Moses
The Six Geese a-laying are the 6 Days of Creation – Genesis 1
- God created the heavens and the earth
- God created the sky and seas
- God created the land and plants
- God created the sun, moon, and stars
- God created fish and birds
- God created land animals and man
The Seven Swans a-swimming are The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Eight Maids a milking are The 8 Beatitudes – in Matthew 5:3-10
- the poor is spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- those who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
- the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
- those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.
- the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
- the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
- the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
- they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Some people say that it also stands for The Eight People Saved on the Ark: Noah, his wife his three sons, and their wives
The Nine Ladies Dancing are The 9 Fruits of the Spirit
The Ten Lords a-leaping are The Ten Commandments
- Thou shall have no other gods before me
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
- Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy
- Honor thy father and mother
- Thou shalt not kill
- Thou shalt not commit adultery
- Thou shalt not steal
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
- Thou shalt not covet
The Eleven Pipers Piping are the 11 Faithful Disciples
1.) Simon (whom He named Peter)
9.) James son of Alphaeus
10.) Simon who was called the Zealot
11.) Judas son of James
The Twelve Drummers Drumming are The twelve Points of the Apostles Creed
- I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
- He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
- He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
- He descended into hell (1 Peter 3:19-20 “in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared”). On the third day he rose again.
- He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
- He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit,
- the holy catholic Church(catholic means universal), the communion of saints,
- the forgiveness of sins,
- the resurrection of the body,
- and the life everlasting.
The Song may have several versions throughout history and there may be slight differences in the versions, but the important thing to remember is that we know and sing this song as a reminder that Christ is the Gift, from God the Father, and that He was given to us, in order that we may be reconciled to Him, the God of creation. The song should remind us of what we believe in, and that God in His infinite wisdom, loves us enough that He gave us Christ, and all of his commandments that we should live as we were intended to live, in love and in righteousness.
Merry Christmas and Amen