Sunday, 18 December 2016

Pause in Advent

We have been singing the Twelve Days of Christmas quite a bit this week and I was fascinated to hear that it is based on Christian teaching.
The two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments. The three French hens stand for Faith, Hope, and Charity.The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.The five golden rings represent the first five books of the Old Testament, which describe man's fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Saviour.The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.Seven swans a-swimming represent the gifts of the Holy Spirit-Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty and Continency.The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful Apostles and the twelve drummers drumming symbolise the twelve points of belief in The Apostles' Creed.
I was really fascinated to read all of that as previously I only knew the carol in the context of a story about someone trying to woo his sweetheart !

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