Monday, December 28, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas

Adoration of the Christ Child - Gerard Van Honthorst

... by one reckoning, we are on Day Four...

The big build up is over, right? Buying presents, anticipating visits to or from relatives (or dreading them)...

But for traditional Christians, the feast has just begun!

What are the 12 Days of Christmas?

1 Partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ, the Son of God
2 Turtledoves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French hens = the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity
4 Calling birds = the four gospels and/or the four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
5 Golden rings = the first five books of the Old Testament
6 Geese a-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans a-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and/or the seven sacraments
8 Maids a-milking = the Eight Beatitudes
9 Ladies dancing = the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords a-leaping = the Ten Commandments
11 Pipers piping = the 11 faithful disciples (minus Judas, who betrayed Christ)
12 Drummers drumming = the 12 points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed

The author of the article says no, the "Catechism in a Song" legend is just a myth, although it is still useful for meditation. Christmas ends with the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6th, and Catholics keep it going until the following Sunday after the Epiphany.

Do you still feel the Christmas spirit, or is it all over for you now?

Whether you had a religious Christmas, a secular one, or something in between, I pray that the good feelings of the season remain in your heart all throughout the new year.

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