Christmas Carol

  There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled 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 with Christmas? 

  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 known 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 
the-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 Mercy. 

 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,Faithful-ness, Gentleness, and Self 

 The ten lords a-leaping -  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 lesson for today.