The Hidden Treasure of Christmas
One tradition that we have let slip is that of the twelve days of Christmas. Of course we are reminded of the matter when we hear the popular Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas (more about the song later).
An interesting way of celebrating the twelve days is to make each day correspond to one of the twelve months of the year, for example December 26 would be January.
On each of the days, in your prayer keep in mind:
- All the family members and friends who celebrate their birthday in the said month (so on December 26 all the January events)
- All the new babies who come into the world on the said day
In this way, your Christian vocation touches both local and world
Coming back to the popular song. Some of you know that it contains a hidden Christian code. Indeed, Catholics in England were forbidden to practice their Faith between 1558 and 1829. This song was to help remember some of the elements of the Christian narrative. The repetitive true love gave to me refers to God’s on-going love for us. The message of each day is as follows:
- The two doves given in sacrifice by Mary and Joseph when Jesus was presented at the Temple
- The three wise men
- The four evangelists
- The five wounds of the crucified Christ
- The Genesis story of creation in six days
- The seven works of mercy
- The eighth beatitudes
- The nine Choirs of angels
- The ten commandments
- The Apostles minus Judas
- The twelve points of the Creed
You will feel much better on January 6 when you complete celebrating the 12 days!
Msgr. Peter Schonenbach, Spiritual Advisor
SSVP National Council of Canada