The four weeks before Christmas is Advent which means ‘the coming’. At Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Jesus among us. Jesus took flesh (became incarnate) and lived among us. The Incarnation is a very important aspect of Christian teaching. Jesus shares our humanity in order to save us from sin by dying on the Cross so that eventually we may share in his divinity. Advent is a time of preparation for the celebration of this most wondrous occasion.
In modern times, the true message of Christmas is lost among all the materialism and hedonism. People in general are more concerned with celebrity than with the spiritual! We as Christians never forget the true meaning of Christmas. When we have our family gatherings and office parties, even among the cheery atmosphere, we remember that we are celebrating the birth of our Saviour.
The Twelve Days of Christmas http://www.crivoice.org/cy12days.html
Have you ever wondered about the well-known Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas? There is a theory that says that in the days when it was forbidden by law to practise the Catholic faith (often known as penal times) children were taught this song in order to help them remember the Church’s teaching.
The Partridge represents Christ, the tree being the Cross.
Two Turtle Doves are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Three French Hens are the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.
Four Calling Birds represent the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Five Gold Rings represent the Pentateuch which contain the first five Books of the O.T.
1.Genesis 2. Exodus 3. Leviticus 4. Numbers 5. Deuteronomy.
“These give the history of humanity's failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.” http://www.crivoice.org/cy12days.html
Six Geese a-laying are the six days of Creation.
Seven Swans a-swimming are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Wisdom to recognise things of God.
Understanding to penetrate the mysteries of faith.
Counsel to choose whatever is God’s will.
Fortitude to stand firm in the cause of virtue and truth.
Knowledge to discern the difference between good and evil.
Piety to faithfully practice our religion.
Fear of the Lord which inspires us with a respect for God.
They may also represents the seven Sacraments:
Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick
Eight Maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes (See Mathew Chapter 5)
Nine Ladies Dancing represent the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.
Ten Lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
Eleven Pipers Piping represents the eleven faithful Apostles .
Twelve Drummers Drumming represent the twelve points of doctrine of the Apostles Creed. (See Session 5 The Creed)
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!