Thursday, 30 December 2010


What's a Christingle service?

I've always known what a christingle is, well at least I've known it's something to do with an orange, and the world and love; and therefore I expected that everyone else about my age and of Uk childhood would know.  There I am wrong.

So how is it an integral part of my childhood and not of others? I first thought it must be church related, but thinking on i don't think it's from church upbringing.  I think it's from my guiding experience.  I was a brownie, than a guide, then I defected to scouting and became a cub scout leader.   And through all theses years we would go to one church or another for a christingle service.  Same as we went for an Easter parade, a remembrance service and some other things I forget. 

Well didn't everyone go to brownies or cubs? Everyone in my village did, there were pack meetings every night of the week and everyone went.  Obviously this is not everyones experience.  And I know how few packs there at left now, it's feindish trying to get Rachel into one.  When did the organisations get separated from our societies? When did volunteers stop coming forward to run these things?  When were they no longer connected to churches?

I am distracted, ignore me, I'm sure I'll come back to this in the future.

The reason I'm blogging is because I've had so many people ask me what thus christingle service I'm doing is.  And each time I answered, and each time I invited, and each time I realised how much us church people assume the society knows about our services that they really don't. And if the idea of a christingle is alien then imagine what a Eucharist is! 

So here is my quick guide to a christingle, as delivered in an interactive christingle building sermon on the Sunday before Christmas to 50 people of all ages and backgrounds who came because I said "come and see" who all enjoyed it....

"1st Question: How do you get rid of a dark winter’s night? 

2nd Question: How do you see in a dark cupboard?

3rd Question: How do you chase away the darkness when a young child is frightened at night?

So we see, there is only one way to get rid of the darkness that is to replace it with light!

So let's make a christingle:

Everyone needs an orange - representing the world

Then tie round it a red ribbon  - indicating the blood and love of Christ given for the pain of the world

Then put in four cocktail sticks, 2 with dried fruit and 2 with sweets - signifying the four seasons and the fruits of the earth and God's good gifts

Finally we insert a candle - symbolising Jesus, the Light of the World

Now we each hold the world, it's pain, it's gifts and Gods light for our lives.  And so we will light our candles and celebrate together."

One Symbol of Gods action in this service will stay with me forever. I had no idea how many people would come and therefore how many christingles we would need.  But on the day of shopping 50 came to me and despite thinking that was crazy (we've not had more than 20 in the last few years) I planned for that. Guess how many came: 50! 

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