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The Twelve Days of Christmas

Linda Dion
December 2021

I believe most of us know the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and we love to sing along, trying to remember all twelve elements of the song but apart from these lovely elements, there is a bit more to this tune.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to include it in the Dreams section because of its highly symbolic value.  There is a meaning to all of the symbols enumerated and some have said that they form a kind of catechesis for Catholics.  

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
 

A Partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ

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On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

 Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
 

Three French Hens = The 3 virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity

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On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Four Calling Birds = The 4 Gospels 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Five Golden Rings = The 5 Books

of the Old Testament

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On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Six Geese-a-Laying = Six days of creation before

God's rest on the 7th day

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Seven Swans-a-Swimming = Seven Gifts
         of the Holy Spirit

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Eight Maids-a-Milking = Eight Beatitudes

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Nine Ladies Dancing = Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Ten Lords-a-Leaping = Ten Commandments

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

   Eleven Pipers Piping = Eleven Faithful Disciples

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

  Twelve Drummers Drumming = Twelve Points of Belief
in the Apostles' Creed

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