Group 5: Twelve Day of Christmas


Select three speakers to take the Speaker parts below.


Select one group member to play the song (CD in file folder)


Split up the days of Christmas among the other group members.




Speaker 1: I would like to play a Christmas carol for you. (Play the CD)


Speaker 2: (addressing Speaker 1) What does this song have to do with our faith?


Speaker 3: I think I know. A long time ago, Catholics in England couldn’t practice their faith openly. Some priests wrote this carol as a catechism song, a way to teach Catholic children about their faith without the government authorities knowing about it. Each part of the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember. I have some friends who know what each day represents.


(Split these days among the other group members to read).


On the first day of Christmas, the partridge in the pear tree is Jesus Christ on the Cross.

On the second day of Christmas, the two turtledoves recall the Old and New Testaments.

On the third day of Christmas, the three French hens remind us of the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the four calling birds represent the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the five golden rings recall the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers)

On the sixth day of Christmas, the six geese a laying represent the six days of creation or the six precepts of the Church.

On the seventh day of Christmas, the seven swans a swimming represent the seven sacraments and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

On the eighth day of Christmas, the eight maids a milking remind us of the eight Beatitudes.

On the ninth day of Christmas, the nine ladies dancing refer to the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control).

On the tenth day of Christmas, the ten lords a leaping refer to the ten commandments.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the eleven pipers piping remind us of the eleven faithful apostles.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the twelve drummers drumming refer to the twelve points of faith found in the Apostles Creed.


Speaker 1: And now I would like to play the Twelve Day of Christmas for you once again.


If preparation time allows, color the twelve days of Christmas pictures from your folder and display them during the presentation. These pictures are available at:


If time allows, read selections from The Twelve Days of Christmas by Dennis Bratcher