The True Meaning of Those Four Calling Birds

Code revealed for The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the eve of Christmas, we thought revealing the code for the popular song was appropriate… especially since we never knew the true meaning!

Maybe it’s common knowledge for most? But for those who don’t celebrate, you may be surprised at finding reference to the Old Testament and Torah in the popular song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

History has it that from around 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  The famous carol was written as catechism for young Catholics during the holiday season. There are basically two levels of meaning: the surface, plus a hidden meaning that was known only to members of the church. Each element is code for a religious reality which children could easily remember.

Partridge in a Pear Tree is Jesus Christ.
Two Turtle Doves were the Old and New Testament.
Three French Hens stood for faith, hope and love.
Four Calling Birds were the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
Five Golden Rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
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.
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 Control.
Ten Lords A-Leaping were the Ten Commandments.
Eleven Pipers Piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
Twelve Drummers Drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostels’ Creed.

We wish for you the merriest of holidays,
filled with light, love, laughter and family!
The Birdhouse Chick

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