02 January 2008

Eighth Day of Christmas

On The Eighth Day of Christmas
My True
Love Gave To Me
Eight Maids A Milking

The eight Beatitudes (Blessed are the poor in spirit, they who mourn, the meek, they who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, and they who suffer persecution for justice sake.)

Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese A Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Almost everyone is familiar with the song without being aware of the symbolism and legends associated with each of the days.The 12 Days of Christmas actually begin at sundown on Christmas day (December 25) and proceed evening/day until the morning of January 6 or Epiphany which marks the celebration of the arrival of the Three Kings with their gifts for the Christ Child in the Church Calendar. This is the official period of Christmastide.

By legend each of the 12 days has a liturgical meaning used to teach children, the illiterate, and those not allowed to practice their faith openly due to religious persecution. Thus the "first day" is Jesus the gift of salvation; Day 2 is the Old and New Testament; Day 3 Faith, Hope and Charity; Day 4 The Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John); Day 5 is the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. Day 6The six days of creation described in Genesis. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.


Schmoop said...

Eight Maids a Milking...My favorite part of the song. Cheers Jamie!!

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the lesson!

Linda said...

I wondered what the Eight Maids represented and I guess the Beatitudes makes perfect sense now that I think about it.