A Christingle is a symbolic object used in the Advent services of many Christian denominations. Christingle means 'Christ Light' and is used to celebrate Jesus Christ as the "Light of the World".
Christingle's can be made using any round objects and a candle but usually a Christingle consists of:
- An orange, representing the world
- A candle pushed into the centre of the orange, then lit, representing Jesus Christ as Light of the World.
- A red ribbon wrapped around the orange or a paper frill around the candle, representing the blood of Christ.
- Dried fruits and/or sweets skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons.
- Cloves can be added as well. Increasingly sweets/chocolates can be used instead of cloves.
The history of the Christingle can be traced back to Bishop Johannes de Watteville, who started the tradition in Germany in 1747. At that time, it was just a red ruff wrapped around a candle. It was popularized in the United Kingdom by John Pensom in 1968 when he was raising funds for the charity The Children's Society.
On Sunday 24th December 2017 The Triangle Community Methodist Church was charged with the smell of oranges, for it was our annual Christingle service. Packs of oranges, ribbons, candles and cocktail sticks were distributed to the adults of the congregation while tables at the front of church were stacked high with Christingle implements for the children and teenagers to assemble their own too.
We began our service by lighting the 4th Advent Candle which was lit by Chloe Fountayne and Denis Kirkham followed by our first hymn was “Angels from the Realms of Glory”.
Hilary welcomed back our Mary and Josephs’ who had been visiting different families each night during Advent, Henry, Daisy and Nathaniel, Magnique, and Faith.
Our prayers were led by our Worship Leader Brian Smith assisted by Olivia and Daisy.
Hilary gave us an explanation of the DIY Christingle in a bag and invited all the children to come to the front to make one and we would do it stage by stage.
Sheila Nelson read our readings from Luke 2:7: John 13:16; Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 1:21 and John 19:34.
The Orange and Ribbon.
Then we sang the first two verses of Round, Orange, round orange, followed by our African Choir singing for us in Swahili Gloria.
The Four Sticks and the Fruits
Colin Nelson read Matthew 2:1-5, 9-11: Matthew 6: 25-26.
The next part of the Christingle and what they represented. Followed by verse 3 Round orange, round orange. We then sang “Beneath the paper wrapping”.
Genesis 1:14-15; John 1:1-5 and John 8:12: were read by Janet Davies.
Then added the candle and sung 4 + 5 of Round orange, round orange”, we then light the candles, turned out the lights and everyone sung “Away in a Manger.”
Hilary spoke about the light lasts forever.
As we sang of the coming of that special little baby we were told in both song and reading about how Jesus was/is the light of the world. The orange represents the world, the ribbon represents the blood Christ shed for us. It has also been suggested that the red ribbon represents God giving the world a hug.
We all enjoyed assembling our Christingles. Hilary was lucky enough to have a candle that would not go out. This represented the light of Jesus that will always be lit for us. The children, in particular, enjoyed showing their creations to the congregation.
Ben and Steph did a lovely duologue from the point of view of the candles in the Christingles. "They light us for a minute, before blowing us out and forgetting all about us, for who wants an orange covered in candle wax." But then they hear "The heart of the Christingle is the candle which represents the light of Jesus. Did you hear that" say the candles "even though we are so small we are still important".
Prayers of intercession were led by Worship leader Denis Kirkham followed by our last hymn “See him lying on a bed of straw” and the benediction.
So, do not forget in all this time of present giving and turkey eating that Jesus came into the world in that lowly stable to give his light to you and me.
Whatever you do this Christmas, I hope Jesus is at the heart of it all.
Kindly written by Jamie Blatchley Senior Steward.