We had the Christingle service in the church this afternoon. It was lovely. The children led the service of readings, carols and prayers, and at the end of it 60 children, each holding a lit Christingle, stood around the edges of the church in a big circle . The lights were switched off and the congregation (the rest of the pupils, the staff and some parents) sat in silence, awe and wonder, appreciating the moment.
Christingle is a relatively new idea here in England, having been introduced by The Children’s Society in 1968. Christingle started in Germany in the mid 1700s when Bishop Johannes de Watteville wanted to make a simple symbol to express the message of Christmas in a new way. He used the orange to represent the world, the red ribbon to represent the blood of Christ, the four cocktail sticks to represent the four corners of the world and the dried fruits and sweets are symbols of God’s creation. The lit candle reminds Christians that Jesus is the light of the world.
If you want to know how to get sixty lively 9 and 10 year-olds to stand very still, and in silence, give them a lit Christingle!
Just one more day to go now and then it’s the Christmas break – not that I’m counting…