Dec 31, 2023

Posted by in Articles & Essays, CHRISTmas, The 12 Days of Christmas | 0 Comments

Seven Swans a-Swimming

Merry 7th Day of Christmas – Sun. Dec. 31, 2023

Time has moved swiftly this past week. Here we are on New Year’s Eve! Many of my friends have packed up their Christmas decorations already – some the day after Christmas! I am glad to continue to enjoy our Christmas tree, nativity and other décor of the season – especially the lights on these long, dark winter nights!

Why Seven Swans a-swimming on the 7th Day of Christmas?

Seven Swans a-Swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:

  • Wisdom
  • Understanding
  • Counsel
  • Fortitude
  • Knowledge
  • Piety
  • Fear of the Lord

The seven swans also represent the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith:

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Penance
  • Extreme Unction
  • Holy Orders
  • Matrimony

The two sets of representation of the 7 swans are meaningful to me.

 The seven gifts and the seven sacraments are topics discussed with Religious Education students throughout the preparation of Confirmation. I spent many years as the Catechist who helped prepare young people to receive the sacraments at my church, Sacred Heart Mission.

Sharing the meaning of the gifts and the sacraments with the students was a challenge, but in a good way! I enjoyed the many discussions with the young adults – even those from students who professed they were attending classes only because their parents made them!

In recent years, I have seen many of these former students in various places, including in church with their own children! It is wonderful to see how they have managed to accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit into their own lives and that of the families they are creating.

To my readers, take a few minutes today to offer a prayer for all those preparing to receive their sacraments in the coming year!

Merry Christmas,


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