The Twelve Days of Christmas

 

 

It is said that the traditional Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written as a secret teaching tool to instruct children in the meaning of the Christian faith. From 1558 to 1829 Roman Catholics in England were, apparently, forbidden from openly practicing their religion. So, this carol was devised to get the message across without upsetting the Protestants. Here is the broken code, thanks to this contribution from Guyneitha.

 

Phrase

My true love
Me
Partridge in a pear tree
Two Turtle Doves
Three French hens
Four calling birds
Five gold rings
Six geese a-laying
Seven swans a-swimming

Eight maids a-milking
Nine ladies dancing
Ten lords a-leaping
Eleven pipers piping
Twelve drummers drumming
 

Meaning

God
The Christian
Jesus
The old and new testaments
Faith, hope and love
The four gospels
The first five books of the Bible
The six days of creation
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:9-11, Rom. 12, Eph. 4 and 1 Peter 4:10-11)
The beatitudes
The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)
The ten commandments
The eleven faithful disciples
The twelve points of the apostle creed
 

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