Twelve Days of Christmas : Day 8

Unto us a Child is born.
Come let us adore him.  

Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.
We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee,
we give thanks to thee for thy great glory.

O God, who makes us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully reflect on Christ’s story and how it relates to our own.  Amen.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Maids a Milking.

On day 8 we move away from gifts of birds to a few days with gifts of people. This is potentially more troublesome in terms of human trafficking than we pay attention to during our port fuelled carolling but let’s focus on a few interesting facts instead.

Living in Durham I must mention the legend of the Dun Cow and the milkmaid who guided the monks of Lindisfarne carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert to the site of the present city of Durham in 995 AD.

The 8 maids represent the 8 Beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In a year that has seen planet earth in absolute chaos, perhaps the beatitudes might draw us back to what is most important in the world.

Eighth day of Christmas – January 1 : NAME

In some traditions of the Christian church, New Year’s Day is also the Feast of the Holy Name, commemorating the day Jesus was named in the temple. To name is to imbue with meaning, and this feast day and the holiday that accompanies it invites us to also name our hopes and desires for the year to come. Some people choose to do this by having a word for the year. Many people choose a word themselves, which is a great way to name and set your intentions, but you can also prayerfully ask God to give you a word for the year. (adapted from

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