Monday, October 31, 2011


   Catholics in England during the period 1558-1829 were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private.  It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in 1829.
   "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the 'catechism songs' to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith.  In short, it was a coded-message, a memory aid.  Since the song sounded like rhyming nonsense, young Catholics could sing the song without fear of imprisonment.  The authorities would not know that it was a religious song.
   "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is in a sense an allegory.  Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith.  The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith.  The better acquainted one is with the Bible, the more these interpretations have significance.

No comments: