SummaryThe “12 Days of Christmas” gives us a chance to ponder aspects of our Catholic Faith inspired by the gifts mentioned.
According to popular history, this familiar Christmas carol originated in Elizabethan England, 1780, during a time when Roman Catholics were prohibited by law to practice their Faith.
Some maintain that the “Twelve Days of Christmas” was written as a “catechism song” for young Catholics to memorize the precepts of their Faith in secrecy. Each peculiar gift in the song veils an important teaching of Catholicism. Faithful disciples of Christ could thereby publicly memorize and express tenets of their Faith because this song seemed to be a harmless, Christmas carol.
Whether this story is true or not, the song gives us a chance to ponder aspects of our Catholic Faith inspired by the gifts mentioned. I’ve also shared some meditations and practical applications to prepare one’s self in this Advent Season for the coming of the Baby Jesus.
Twelve Drummers Drumming
The Twelve Points of Belief in the Apostles’ Creed
12 Days Before Christmas: To begin preparing our soul for the birth of Jesus, as Catholics, let us reaffirm our belief in Christ by slowly and ardently reciting the Apostles’ Creed.
By lifting up our voices to fervently recite this prayer, we are bringing holy music to the Lord’s ears.
“Eleven Pipers Piping”
The Eleven Faithful Apostles
11 Days Before Christmas: As we continue to prepare our souls for the celebration of Christmas, we should ask for the intercession of Saint Nicholas, a faithful apostle or disciple of God, to set our hearts on Jesus this joyous season and implore him to help us fully embrace the true meaning of Christmas: Christ’s glorious birth.
“Ten Lords A-leaping”
The Ten Commandments
10 Days Before Christmas: To further ready ourselves for the birth of Christ Jesus, we should most certainly pray for the spiritual assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ark of the New Covenant and Mother of God, pleading her to bring Christ’s presence with us always while obeying God’s laws and growing in love of her Most Adorable Infant Jesus, during this Christmas season.
“Nine Ladies Dancing”
The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
9 Days Before Christmas: As we venture deeper into our Faith, for this day, let us light a candle and with our hearts, listen to the Holy Spirit. For it is when we listen wholeheartedly to the Holy Spirit, He bestows many wondrous graces upon our souls and supplies us the strength we need to do God’s Will.
Then, to conclude our quiet prayer time with the Holy Spirit, let us offer up a petition, requesting Him to ripen His fruits within our hearts and send us His most holy gifts.
“Eight Maids A-milking”
The Eight Beatitudes
8 Days Before Christmas: During this spiritual Christmas preparation, we should discuss, with a Catholic friend, deeper into the meanings of the Beatitudes and various religious topics, in order that we may grow and blossom in our Faith, and with one another.
Christian fellowship is helpful in allowing our personal faith to become richer and stronger.
“Seven Swans A-swimming”
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, The Seven Sacraments
7 Days Before Christmas: As we draw near the celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation.
By partaking of this beautiful sacrament, our hearts are cleansed from the muck and grime due to our sins. Thus, we transform our own stained hearts into pure mangers, worthy of God’s presence.
“Six Geese A-laying”
The Six Days of Creation
6 Days Before Christmas: For this day, in spiritual continuation, let us recite, with heartfelt sincerity, the Chaplet of the Unborn. By devoutly praying this chaplet, we are not only saving the Innocent and converting souls, but we are opening the doors of our hearts to a greater love and appreciation for the gift of life.
As Catholics, who celebrate the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, we understand how precious life is and how all God’s created beings should rightfully be defended.
“Five Golden Rings”
The First Five Books of the Old Testament
5 Days Before Christmas: To persist on our spiritual journey, preparing ourselves for Christmas Day, we should take our Bibles and, after saying a prayer for enlightenment to the Holy Spirit, open up Sacred Scripture, so that we may drink in delight the words God bids us to know.
“Four Calling Birds”
The Four Gospels and The Four Evangelists
4 Days Before Christmas: Since Christmas is just days away, let us persist in preparing ourselves by asking for the intercession of the four evangelists to shed their wisdom and light upon us, in order that we may better understand the crucial importance of the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Three French Hens”
Faith, Hope, and Charity
3 Days Before Christmas: In our final preparations, we should offer up a rosary to Our Lady for the intentions that we may be faithful to Jesus, place our heartfelt hope in Him, and that we may be charitable towards others, especially during this joyful Christmas season.
“Two Turtle Doves”
The Old Testament and The New Testament
Christmas Eve: To conclude our spiritual preparation, let us read and meditate upon the Nativity Readings that will be read during the Christmas Mass.
In doing so, we are letting the words of God sink deeply within our hearts so that we may fully embrace the meaning of Christ’s birth, on Christmas Day.
“One Partridge in a Pear Tree”
Jesus Christ, Son of God
Christmas Day: As we celebrate this joyous day, surely, let us wholly participate in the Christmas Mass and praise the Lord for sending His Most Precious and Holy Gift, the Baby Jesus.
Truly, this is a day of spiritual rejoicing, for Christ, the Savior, is born!