What is a Christingle?
In the Church of England, and many other Christian denominations, a Christingle is an decorated orange used in the Advent service. Christingle means 'Christ Light' and is used to celebrate Jesus Christ as the "Light of the World".
Christingle services are usually held between Advent and Candlemas. It is an opportunity for people of all ages to join in, using oranges, to create visible symbols of the Christian message.
The origins of the Christingle date back to a Moravian children's service held in a castle in Germany on Christmas Eve in 1747.
The Bishop Johannes de Watteville looked for a simple way to explain the happiness that had come to people through Jesus and decided to give each child a lighted candle, tied with a red ribbon, in memory of the Saviour's coming which he said had kindled a flame in everyone’s heart. At the end of the service, whilst the children held their candles, the bishop said the prayer, ‘Lord Jesus, kindle a flame in these children's hearts that theirs like thine become.’ Later, this simple candle was replaced by a more elaborate Christingle which is rich in symbolism.
Our modern Christingle consists of:
1. an orange which represents the world
2. a red ribbon, tied round the orange represents God’s love wrapped around the world and the blood of Jesus shed for us all
3. 4 small sticks skewered with fruits and sweets are pushed into the orange representing God's good gifts - the fruits of the earth and the four seasons
4. a lighted candle, pushed into the centre of the orange represents Christ, the light of the world who brings hope to those living in the darkness
For many years churches all over the world have made Christingles to remind them that Christ is the light who came into the world at Christmas.
Christmas Celebrations in our Parish showing children with Christingles
Christingle tradition wasn’t made popular in the UK until 1968 although it had been known of since the 1700’s. John Pensom, who joined the Children’s Society in the 1950s, came up with the concept of holding Christingle services to raise money for the organisation and introduced the Christingle to the Church of England. For the past 49 years the Church of England has held Christingle Services to raise money for the charity. Christingle was specifically created with children in mind, therefore the celebrations are the perfect event to take children to especially if they don’t normally attend church.Type your paragraph here.
What happens at a Christingle Service?
All Christingle celebrations are different however there are some common aspects which include prayers, readings, hymns or carols and a collection (usually in support of The Children’s Society) and, of course, the all important lighting of the Christingles!
As well as being a fun-filled activity to teach children the gospel, Christingle creates the opportunity to engage with children and their families and bring them into a church - which may be an unfamiliar environment to them.
The Christingle Service is hugely popular for churches and schools and raises millions of pounds to help change the lives of disadvantaged children throughout the United Kingdom. This year why not come along to one or our Christingle Services and whilst your child or children enjoy the fun of partaking in the service know that you are also helping children who are less fortunate.
Our Christingle Services for this year are:
He's a real person who lived in the 4th century and became a famous bishop of the church in what is now Turkey. Read all about him