“Hark the Herald, Angels Sing…” In high school, my friends and I would gather each year to celebrate Christmas. Before our annual Christmas progressive dinner and party, we’d go caroling. These Christmas memories are some of my favorites. There’s nothing quite like watching the surprise on a person’s face when they open the door to be greeted by a group of teenage girls dressed in holiday fashions holding candles singing songs that glorify our God and King.
Many of the songs we sing for fun, actually are seeped with meaning. For example, did you know that the “Twelve Days of Christmas” was written to help Catholic children remember the basic truths of hte Christian faith. The True Love represents God and the gifts he offers to believers. Each of the twelve gifts holds symbolic meaning:
Partridge in a pear tree – Jesus
Two turtledoves – Old and New Testaments
Three french hens – faith, hope, and love
Four calling birds – four gospels
Five golden rings – first five books of Old Testament
Six geese a laying – Six days of creation
Seven swans a swimming – seven sacraments
Eight maids a milking – eight beatitudes
Nine drummers drumming – fruits of spirit
Ten ladies dancing – Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping – eleven apostles who remained faithful after the betrayal of Judas
Twelve lords a leaping – twelve basic beliefs of Catholic Church outlined in Apostles Creed
As you sing your favorite carols this year, take time to remember the real reason we sing — to celebrate a risen King!!!