The Seventh Day of Christmas

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ace Collins's book, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmashas had a great impact on me this season. His chapter on The Twelve Days of Christmas fascinated me so much, that I want to share it here, for the twelve days, December 25th - January 5th.

"Teaching the Catholic faith was outlawed in sixteenth century England . . . the church went underground. To hide the important and illegal elements of their teaching, clerics composed poems that seemed silly to most people. But these verses were veiled woks that taught the church's most important tenants. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is said to be one of these teaching tools.

The "true love" mentioned in the song is not a sweetheart, but the Catholic Church's code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents anyone who has accepted Christ as the Son of God and as Savior. And each of the gifts portrays an important facet of the story of true faith.


On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . seven swans a-swimming. It would take someone quite familiar with the Bible to identify this gift. Hidden in the code are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading and compassion. As swans are one of the most beautiful and graceful creatures on earth, they would seem to be a perfect symbol for the spiritual gifts."

(Taken from Chapter 24, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas)


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