How many of you know the song? On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….and so on and so on…crazy repetition and seemingly nonsensical right? We’ve all heard the annual cost of the 12 items in this song. $34,131 this year, or 0.6 percent more than the adjusted 2014 price of $33,933 Is there a meaning or purpose behind the song?
Many believe that this song was written as a teaching aid for young Catholics. Ann Ball wrote a book, “Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals” where she claims the song was written as a teaching aid for young Catholics when it was illegal to practice the faith. The song was a way to remember the tenets of the faith. So, the song appears to have been a catechism with the following meanings:
The “true love”: God; and the “me” is the one who has been baptized. Partridge in a pear tree = Jesus 2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, 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 eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed
So…why write about this song…because I think that God will use each one of us in ways we might not imagine to do his work. Think about it…if the above is true and it apparently is, God used someone to use this teaching method to get his Word and ideals engrained in the heads of young ones. Is anything impossible for God to do? Here is today’s devotional passage – blessings to each of you today: Luke 1:26-38
Can each one of us think of responding the way Mary did…“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”