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Christmas Christingle History Meaning and How To Make Christmas Christingles


The origins and history of the Christingle Christmas Service and how to make Christmas Christingles with photographs:


Christmas Christingle Origins


Christingle 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.





Christmas Christingle History


The Christingle church service soon spread around the world to Christian countries like America and the service was introduced to the UK in Church of England churches several centuries later, in 1968, by The Children’s Society. It grew in popularity and has become a much loved and popular service for children and their families.


Christingle Cube

The Christingle Cube: A Hands-on Way to Learn About Christingle is an idea way to teach children about the custom of the Christingle. The Christingle Cube is beautifully illustrated with colourful images by Craig Cameron and is a fun and creative way to keep this lovely Christmas tradition alive. The Christingle Cube: A Hands-on Way to Learn About Christingle is made in conjunction with the Children's Society and helps to get across the Christian message to children. Other similar resources include the Lord's Prayer Cube, The Baptism Cube and The Communion Cube. Buy Now.





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The Meaning Of Christingle


Christingle means Christ Light and is a way for the Church of England to communicate the Christian message is a fun and inspiring way to children and the local community. It brings people and families together at a time that signifies peace and goodwill. It is a great way to welcome new people to a church congregation.


Christingle Service


Christingle service can take place in churches and some schools throughout Britain are now introducing them into assemblies. Christingle services can take place between Advent and Epiphany, though it is more common to hold the service on Christmas Eve or within a few days of Christmas Day.

The Children’s Society still hold an annual Christingle church service to raise funds for their charity and churches and groups can request special envelopes to be used for money and donation collections during their Christingle services. The charity use this money to bring light and comfort to children in distress from famine, war, homelessness, those with a disability or in need of support.


What Is A Christingle

The Christingle is made up of an orange, wrapped in ribbon, with a small lit candle and dried fruits or sweets inserted into the orange flesh and skin. The dried fruit and sweets are secured to the Christingle orange using four cocktail sticks. It is designed to appeal to children and each part of the Christingle symbolises:

  • The orange represents the world.

  • The lighted candle represents Jesus Christ who is seen as the Light of the World who shows us God's love.

  • The red ribbon wrapped around the Christingle orange is a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for our sins. It is also a symbol of forgiveness.

  • The dried fruit and sweets represent the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and the fruits of the earth of young people. (Some say the four points of the compass of North, East, South and West to represent the good things the world provides).


Children should be supervised when making Christmas Christingles and should be supervised when carrying the lit Christingle orange and candle.






Celebrating Christingle

Christ has brought us out of darkness to live in his marvellous light.

A Christingle church service should be fun, informal and relaxed. It is aimed at children and families and a typical Christingle Church service will run something like:

  • A welcome from the minister or vicar
  • Singing of Christmas Hymns or Carols
  • An explanation of what the Christingle Symbolises
  • Singing of Christmas Hymns or Carols
  • An informal talk rather than a sermon
  • Distribution of the Christmas orange Christingles whilst a Christmas Carol is sung
  • The congregation light their Christingles using a taper that is passed along the pews by the church elders or safety volunteers
  • The church lights are dimmed and the congregation enjoy the sight of the lit Christingles
  • A collection, usually for The Children’s Society, or a local Children's Charity
  • A Christmas themes performance by some of the children, usually the Sunday School Club
  • Singing of Christmas Hymns or Carols
      Farewell message from the minister and invitation to join in tea, juice and mince pies after the service


    The children (and adults) get to take their Christingle's home.






    How To Make A Christmas Christingle

    Items Needed For A Christingle

    Christingle Instructions An orange
    Red ribbon
    Double sided sticky tape
    Four cocktail sticks
    Sweets like jellies, candy or dolly mixtures or dried fruit like dates, currants, sultanas and raisins
    Scissors
    Apple corer
    Kitchen foil
    Small white candle
    Tinsel


    Instructions To Make A Christingle

    Christmas Christingle Wrap the double sided sticky tape around the middle of the orange and then place the strip of red ribbon over it to that it sticks securely in place. Some people make a complete circle and trim the ends whilst others prefer to tie the ribbon into a decorative knot.


    Christingle Orange















    Use an apple corer or potato peeler to make a candle sized hole into the top of the orange.




    Christingle Candle

    Put a cocktail stick into each corner of the orange and skewer the sweets or dried fruits or a mixture of each.






    Christingle Sweets Wrap kitchen foil around the bottom of the candle and push it firmly into the orange.


    You now have a beautiful Christingle like the photograph at the top of the page.


    There is an option to decorate a Christingle with tinsel for very young children to give the Christingle a shine when you may not want them to light the candle for safety. If you plan to light the candle later at home then do remove the tinsel before lighting the flame.


    Song For Christingle

    It's rounded like an orange this earth on which we stand;
    and we praise the God who holds it in the hollow of his hand.

    So Father, we would thank you for all that you have done,
    and for all that you have given us through the coming of your Son


    A candle, burning brightly can cheer the darkest night,
    and these candles can tell how Jesus came to bring a dark world light.

    The ribbon round the orange reminds us of the cost;
    how the shepherd, strong and gentle, gave his life to save the lost.

    Four seasons with their harvest supply the food we need,
    and the Spirit gives a harvest that can make us rich indeed.

       *****   

    Christingle Songs

    Now we hold the ripened orange,
    Representing all the world;
    Circled by a crimson ribbon
    as the symbol of Christ's blood.

    Chorus:
    Let God's gracious way of loving
    Bring his joy to every place,
    As his glorious light for living
    Brightly gleams on every face.

    Let the sticks of food remind us,
    By the word of God revealed,
    That each cycle of the seasons
    Will its fruitful harvest yield.

    Chorus:
    Let God's gracious way of loving
    Bring his joy to every place,
    As his glorious light for living
    Brightly gleams on every face.

    By our pleasure at life's goodness
    Which the fruit and sweets suggest,
    May we learn to right injustice:
    So may everyone be blessed.

    Chorus:
    Let God's gracious way of loving
    Bring his joy to every place,
    As his glorious light for living
    Brightly gleams on every face.

    May the light of countless candles bravely burning everywhere,
    Help us all to follow Jesus through a life of faith and care.


       *****   


    O round as the world is the orange you give us!
    And happy are they who to Jesus belong:
    So let the world know, as we join in Christingle,
    That Jesus, the Hope of the World, is our song.

    O bright is the flame of the candle you give us!
    And happy are they who to Jesus belong:
    So let the world know, as we join in Christingle,
    That Jesus, the Light of the World, is our song.

    Go northward or southward, go eastward or westward,
    How happy are they who to Jesus belong!
    So let the world know, as they join in Christingle,
    That Jesus, the Peace of the World, is our song.

    When homeward we go, we must take Jesus with us,
    For happy are they who to Jesus belong:
    So let the world know, as we join in Christingle,
    That Jesus, the saviour of all, is our song.


    Poem For Christingle

    Round orange, round orange, you serve as a sign
    That God made the round world with purpose divine.

    The power of love is always the same:
    Be glad, give thanks, rejoice in God's name.


    Red ribbon, you tell of the bloodshed and pain.
    Which led to forgiveness when Jesus was slain.

    The power of love is always the same:
    Be glad, give thanks, rejoice in God's name.


    Ripe fruits, freely given, this truth you recall,
    When God hands out presents they're meant for us all.

    The power of love is always the same:
    Be glad, give thanks, rejoice in God's name.


    Bright candle, the message you carry is clear,
    The true light from God found a home with us here.

    The power of love is always the same:
    Be glad, give thanks, rejoice in God's name.


    Christingle, christingle, shine out in the night
    To kindle among us the marvellous light.

    The power of love is always the same:
    Be glad, give thanks, rejoice in God's name.



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