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A Note of Encouragement from the Rush Family, desiring the everyone has an opportunity to here the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England could not practice their faith openly, so they found other ways to pass along their beliefs. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" became a kind of code song in which each of the gift items represented some aspect of their belief. Thus, the song became a way for young Roman Catholics to learn about their religion and to witness to it. THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS On the _____ day of Christmas MY TRUE LOVE gave to ME: (The "true love" was, of course, God and the "me" who receives each of these gifts was the Christian.) a. The "partridge in the pear tree" was Christ who died on the tree as a gift from God. b. The "two turtle doves" were the Old and New Testaments, also gifts. c. The "three French hens" were faith, hope and love, the three abiding gifts of the spirit (1 Corinthians 13). d. The "four calling birds" were the four Gospels which "sing" of salvation. e. The "five gold rings" were the first five books of the Bible. f. The "six geese a-laying" were the six days of creation. g. The "seven swans a-swimming" were the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, Peter 4:10-11). h. The "eight maids a-milking" were the eight beatitudes. i. The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) j. The "10 lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments. k. The "11 pipers piping" were the 11 faithful disciples. l. The "12 drummers drumming" were the points of the Apostles' Creed. By Ina Hughs with help from Charlie Daniel (no not the singer), from the Knoxville Newspaper