Ninth Day of Christmas: Holy Name and Ballerinas

On January 3, the Church celebrates the Holy Name of Jesus. In the current Roman Calendar, it is a relatively minor day, an “optional memorial,” and in various other church calendars it is celebrated on different days as well.

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare asks in Romeo and Juliet. A lot, actually.  Your name is the first means by which someone else knows you. It’s the primary symbol of a relationship. Right there is food for thought. I’d love to explore this thought more, but do not have the leisure to do so now. Perhaps at another time.

In our “Twelve Days of Christmas” song, I’m noticing a pattern.  “Five Gold Rings” seems to stand out as an anomaly. We’ll explore that more at the end of the series; it may have a significance that ties all the other gifts together. Up to this point we could open a restaurant: five sets of birds that either are food or produce food; one species of bird to grace the pond which the dining terrace , a dairy to provide milk, cheese, and ice cream; and gold to finance the enterprise. Beginning with yesterday, all the remaining gifts are people or services provided by people. Two gifts are dancers and two are musicians.ladies-dancing4

Today we have ballerinas . . . or a chorus line. Religiously, these are said to symbolize the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). OK.

Or . . . Here’s an interesting take on the “ladies dancing” from Matthew Martin, pastor of “Guy Church” – he’s not being sexist, it’s the Church of Christ in Guy, Arkansas.



Author: tomwelbers

I have been a Catholic priest for nearly fifty years, most of that time serving in parish and college campus ministry. I also have professional degrees in theology and liturgy, as well as institutional management, and continue avidly to explore pastoral theology, Scripture, liturgy, ecumenical and interfaith relations, and spiritual direction. I have a passion for sharing insight into our Christian heritage through teaching, writing, and leading pilgrimages, especially to Early Christian World sites in Turkey. Now actively retired from parish ministry, I live at Nazareth House in Los Angeles.

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