My daughter's school ended term with a Christingle service today. The church was pretty full with families joining in the celebration. Christingle services were started by the Children's Society in 1968 as a way of raising money to help children in need.
The idea is to have a candle lit service which is a bit more reflective than the nativity service and to use the Christingle to symbolise 4 components:
- an orange - representing the world
- a red ribbon (or tape) - indicating the blood/ love of Christ
- a lighted candle - symbolising Jesus, the Light of the World
- four cocktail sticks bearing dried fruit or sweets - signifying the four seasons and the fruits of the earth and God's good gifts
The service had carols, prayers, a couple of mini plays, some stories and the all important handing out and lighting of the Christingles. For safety it was only the year 6 children that had their candles actually lit! Once all were alight the church lights were dimmed and we sang Silent Night in the candlelight. It was a very beautiful few minutes.
When the service was over the younger siblings were allowed to collect a spare Christingle. I have to say that my son very quickly demolished the sweets that were on his sticks. The meaning of it all completely passed him by!
We will be lighting the candle on Christmas Eve so that the children can enjoy the candlelight for a bit. I had a sneak go earlier just to grab a photo:
Just have to remember not to repeat last year's mistake of leaving orange too long on the Christmas table and it made the cloth all manky!
More Christmas posts over at Cafe Bebe.