Friday, December 06, 2002

This was sent to the Better Half today. We thought it was very interesting and enlightening. I asked him to send it to me.

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and
>especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do
>Here is the answer
>From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to
>practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a
>catechism song for young Catholics.
>It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning
>only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word
>for a religious reality which the children could remember.
>The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
>Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
>Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
>The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
>The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of
>Old Testament.
>The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
>Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:
>Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, contribution, Leadership, and
>The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
>Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy,
>Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self
>The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
>The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
>The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the
>Apostles' Creed.
>So there is your history for today.
>This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and
>and now I know how that strange song
>became a Christmas Carol.

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