Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas
You're all familiar with the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I think. To most it's a delightful nonsense rhyme set to music. But it had a quite serious purpose when it was written.
It is a good deal more than just a repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of strange gifts.
Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from ANY practice of their faith by law - private OR public. It was a crime to BE a Catholic.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith - a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in *writing* indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head - or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I'm not aware was ever practiced anywhere else. Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging a person by the neck until they had almost, but not quite, suffocated to death; then the party was taken down from the gallows, and disembowelled while still alive; and while the entrails were still lying on the street, where the executioners stomped all over them, the victim was tied to four large farm horses, and literally torn into five parts - one to each limb and the remaining torso.
The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."
The other symbols mean the following:
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
Posted by Ann at 6:47 PM
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It feels like a dream, everything happened so fast...sign this paper and your daughter is an American, check to make sure her name is correct. Everything was in order no issues, the judge was friendly the attorney was wonderful. We truly had no worries. Carmen should be getting her SS# in the next few days. The court gave us back all the orginals so we went right over to the SS office and got things rolling.
Posted by Ann at 12:14 PM
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I have our special outfits all laid out. Kids have been showered. Kids are all in bed, all is quiet. Just think our court case was entered into the log in Ethiopia 12/24/08. We started this journey to our daughter Sep 2008. I love to take photos, however that means I am not in many of them. SO...the owner of the local newspaper assigned our story to one of her writers. He will photo-journal Carmens special day. I am truly thankful for this kind act. If time permits and we have all the documents back from our attorney I hope to shoot over to Social Security and get that number ordered. wish us luck!
Posted by Ann at 5:11 PM