A Christian meditation on the Twelve days of Christmas
“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to
me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree …." The partridge symbolizes Jesus, the
Christ. He is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that
feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless chicks.
Oh Lord who sacrificed for us, so that we may live in the safety
of the knowledge that our death is not the end
but only the beginning, we rejoice! We rejoice in the knowledge that
your heavenly city is awaiting us. We rejoice in the beginning of
the season that brings all men together to fulfill your great
commandment of love. We rejoice in the season of giving so that we
might reveal Your love to all men through our generosity and
your endless grace and sacrifice. Amen.
“On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to
me: Two Turtle Doves ..." which represent the Old and New Testaments,
which bear witness to God’s relationship with all mankind. God’s
relationship is begun in the New Testament in His covenant with
Abraham and his Descendants and is fulfilled in the New Testament by
the new covenant of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
Heavenly Father, who came to earth through Your Son Jesus Christ
we thank You for gift of your Son, Your new covenant that we may
have an intimate relationship with You and the gift of Your Word. As
we exchange gifts, Father, let us recognize and bear witness to the
fact that You have given the greatest gifts of all. Amen.
“On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to
me: Three French Hens ..." symbolic of the gifts of the Magi: gold,
frankincense and myrrh. These gifts symbolize the three theological
values of faith, hope and charity or sacrificial love and foretells
of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, we
give thanks for family and the sacrificial love that is the glue
that holds families together. We give thanks regardless of the
situation and know You will bless us in our rejoicing. Jesus, we
give thanks for Your exquisite, exemplary life and the model that it
provides for our family and all others. We pray we can share faith,
hope, charity and love this holiday season. Holy Spirit, we thank
You for your presence in our life at all times. Amen.
"On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to
me: Four Calling Birds ..." symbolizing the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark,
Luke and John which proclaim the good news of God’s
reconciliation of the world to Himself through Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, today we give thanks for the good news! We are blessed
to have heard it in our lives and are called to share the news with
others. Help us share the news with just one today, Lord. Bless
those whose lives are dedicated to the proclamation of the news…the
ministers, priests, missionaries, teachers, evangelists and saints
of the Church. This holiday help us to foster Your kingdom on Earth!
"On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to
me: Five Golden Rings ..." pointing to the first five books of the Old
Testament, also known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. This is the history of
humanity’s fall from grace and God’s response to make those people a
light unto the world.
Prayer: Oh Ancient of Days, guide us
through the wilderness of our lives, let us live as a light unto the
Earth by Your light radiating through us. As we light candles in our
homes and trim them with lights, let us be mindful that salvation
and reconciliation come through your Son, the living light. Amen.
"On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Six Geese
A Laying …" symbolizing the six days of the creation. Eggs are also a
universal symbol of new life.
Prayer: God, Creator, Sustainer
of Mankind, we are reminded this day that there is holiness in the
ordinary. There is holiness in the birth of a new child, in the
creation of life and in the ordinary task of raising those children.
We are blessed to all be Your children, brothers and
sisters in Christ. Help us to bear our unique responsibility to
bring forth into the world the gifts we have received….good news,
salvation, holiness, children. Lord, let us see the holiness in our
children’s faces this holiday season. Amen.
“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave
to me: Seven Swans A Swimming ..." representing the seven gifts of the
Holy Sprit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving,
leading and compassion or the seven sacraments: baptism,
confirmation, penance, Eucharist, marriage, anointing of the sick
and holy orders. This is a day of new beginning, seven is the number
of finality and we finish the old year and begin anew this day.
Prayer: Lord, examine our hearts today, let us come to You as
anew, pure as the snow of the season. Show us our consciences, help
us take Your words to heart and make a new beginning. Lord, let this
season of birth be a new birth in me. Amen
“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave
to me: Eight Maids a Milking ..." who were the least of the servants in a
home. They symbolize Christ’s love for the least of us, and His
faithfulness to those who don’t deserve it. The eight maids stand
for the Beatitudes or blessings listed in Matthew.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for standing by us when we least
deserve it…we remember today that blessed are the poor in spirit,
blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those
who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are the merciful,
blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed
are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake….let us open
our lives to Your blessings! Amen.
“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave
to me: Nine Ladies Dancing ..." symbolizing the fruits of the Holy Spirit:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Spirit abide in me, let my life be abundant with Your fruit that I
may bring peace and love to a hurting world. I pray that during this
season of excess that the greatest of all will be the harvest of
Your fruits in my life, for without an abundant harvest of Your
fruits, I have nothing to give. Amen.
“On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to
me: Ten Lords A Leaping ..." the lords or rulers of our lives establish
the law. The lords stand for the Ten Commandments given to Moses on
Mt. Sinai, which are holy and good, by which we should live and by
which we are all judged. (Gal 3:10-28)
Prayer: Lord we strive to
live by your commandments, help us oh Lord. Today we pray for those
who have been called to rule, give them good judgement, discernment,
and humbleness. Lord, help us to honor those who have been called to
rule and pray for them and their families because You have appointed
them to rule over us. Amen.
“On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love
gave to me: Eleven Pipers Piping ..." symbolizing the eleven faithful
apostles: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot and
Judas son of James. The list does not include Judas Iscariot, the
twelfth disciple who betrayed Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
Your Son Jesus called twelve to His side, called them to leave their
homes and families, just as Jesus left his to teach us to live
worthily. As we are called this holiday season to help the poor and
needy, the weak, the inflicted and the abandoned help us to walk
perseveringly in the difficult and painful paths of duty. We pray
the same today for our armed forces who are called to duty away from
home this holiday season, let them feel a part of Your family and
know that they are loved, Father. Amen.
"On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave
to me: Twelve Drummers Drumming ..." sounding out the cadence of what we
believe in our lives, the Twelve Points of
Doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son,
He was conceived by the power of the Holy
Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was
crucified, died and was buried.
On the third day He rose again. He
ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of
He will come again to judge the living
and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,