Saturday, 4 December 2010

December - light in the darkness

The Christmas Christingle church service has its origins in Germany. The first Christingle service was at a Moravian Church in 1749 on Christmas Eve at Marienborn. The congregation wanted to enact a service that symbolised Jesus Christ's love and light. It was led by a Bishop called John de Watteville. A simple white candle and red ribbon was used as the Christingle. Their candles were made from bees wax because they burnt cleaner and represented Christ's purity.

The Christingle church service soon spread around the world and the service was introduced to the UK in Church of England churches several centuries later, by The Children’s Society. At the climax of the service, each child receives a lighted Christingle. In the darkness, with the lighted Christingle, the Children sing the Traditional Moravian Carol: Morning Star, O Cheering sight.

The Christingle is an orange, decorated with a red ribbon, sweets and nuts, in which is placed a small candle. The orange represents the world, the ribbon Christ’s blood, and the sweets and nuts the fruits of the earth.

Christingles can be held at any time between Advent and Epiphany.