Prompt Me to Pray…with the 12 Days of Christmas!

Most of us are familiar with the Christmas Song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and how it represents symbols of Catechism for the early Christians with the gifts that God gave to us. From the partridge representing Jesus Himself, each day brings numbered gifts to represent various elements of our Faith:

  1. Jesus
  2. the Old and New Testament
  3. the Three Theological Virtues
  4. the Four Evangelists
  5. the Five Books of the Pentateuch
  6. the Six Days of Creation
  7. the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  8. the Eight Beatitudes
  9. the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
  10. the Ten Commandments
  11. the Eleven (original) Faithful Apostles
  12. the 12 points of Belief within the Creed

But, how can we actually use this SONG to prompt us to PRAY!?

I think that it’s helpful to dig in deeper into these Gifts of our Faith and to see how they apply to us individually, while introducing key Feast Days within the season of Christmas. We can use these Gifts from God as a journey in gratefulness and Faith-building prompts to pray, in the new year ahead!

The truth is that Jesus gives us SO MANY GIFTS! Don’t stop there! We have been given these gifts, but we forget to tap into them, nurture and develop the virtues and the gifts, learn from Scripture, the Evangelists, the Apostles and the Saints!

Our Catholic Faith is so rich! And these GIFTS reflect OTHER GIFTS like the Church,  Divine Mercy, our Blessed Mother, and Eternal Life.

But, how do these relate to the original elements symbolized within the song?


On the first day of Christmas, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus. God gave us His Only Begotten Son as a vulnerable little Baby to experience everything we experience and to draw us into closer relationship with Him.

On the second day of Christmas, we celebrate the gift of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to teach us about the world God created and to draw us closer to Him through His Son Jesus.

On the third day of Christmas, we celebrate the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love, infused into us at our Baptism with Sanctifying Grace. We pray for God’s Grace to purify and strengthen these virtues in us, as we strive to love and serve God and one another.

On the fourth day of Christmas, we celebrate the Evangelists; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I think that this is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Church, as we receive quite a direct account of the Early Church through the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles (also written by Luke).

On the fifth day of Christmas, we celebrate the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch and we learn of how God created the world and repeatedly called and guided His People, showing Mercy to all who recognized their need for it.

On the sixth day of Christmas, we celebrate the entire universe created during the six days of creation. I think that this is an excellent opportunity to be grateful for Life! God created each one of us and we are sustained at every moment by His Grace.

On the seventh day of Christmas, we celebrate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which we receive at our Baptism. These gifts are nurtured as we practice the virtues and they’re strengthened by the sanctifying grace that is renewed in us as we receive the Sacraments. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to respond to the Presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

On the eighth day of Christmas, we celebrate the Beatitudes. Coincidentally, on the eight day of Christmas, we also celebrate Mary, the Mother of God who really is a beautiful model of humility, the underlying virtue of the Beatitudes!

On the ninth day of Christmas, we celebrate the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, from the Influence and Presence of Jesus in our lives. The Fruits are the actions or works resulting from living out the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Scripture (Galations 5:22-23) lists nine fruits, while our Catechism lists twelve (CCC1832)

On the tenth day of Christmas, we celebrate the Commandments. We are called to follow these ten commandments, especially the greatest Commandment to love and serve God and one another. I think that this is also an excellent opportunity to be thankful that God has given us a guide, a set of rules to follow and a unique and unrepeatable Plan for each one of us, that takes into account all of our gifts and circumstances and even our struggles.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, we celebrate the original eleven faithful apostles. I think that this is also an excellent chance to appreciate the whole entourage of mentors God gives us: the Communion of Saints! Despite their own circumstances, struggles and hardship, the Saints persistently pursued holiness, wholeheartedly seeking virtue, prayer, and union with God. They now enjoy Eternal Life in Heaven, while interceding on our behalf.


On the twelfth day of Christmas, we celebrate the Creed; the summary of twelve beliefs we hold dear as Christians. It is the rule and definition of our Faith: it guides both our understanding of Scripture and our practice of our Faith. As we recite in the Creed, Jesus made our salvation possible, opening the Gates of Heaven to us through His Life, Death and Resurrection. I think the Creed reminds us to be grateful for the Gift of Eternal Life!


This is an excerpt from Prompt Me to Pray through Christmas by Monica McConkey.


The full color, illustrated booklet with prayers and prompts to pray is available as a PDF in the Arma Dei Shoppe:

Prompt Me to Pray through Christmas

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