Ed Elf’s grand Grotto tour continues. Hope you’re surfing happily. Have you ever been involved in a Christingle service? They take place in the build-up to Christmas and put the focus on you – the children of the world. What would the season be without you?
Christingle means ‘Christ Light’ and started in Germany more than 250 years ago. It is possible it also comes from the German words ‘engel’ and ‘kind’ – possibly making Christingle’s meaning Christ-angel or Christ-child. There is no certain answer.
It is most enjoyable to prepare the Christingle itself using an orange, some red ribbon or tape, a candle and dried fruits or sweets. The candle sits inside the orange, the ribbon wraps around the middle of the orange and four cocktail sticks with dried fruits or sweets on them are stuck into the ribbon. Foil is often put around the base of the candle before it is put in the orange to catch any dripping wax. Make sure you put dried fruit or sweets on the sharp points of the cocktail sticks. We don’t want any injuries.
Why are these items used?
- The orange represents the world
- The ribbon represents the love and blood of Jesus
- The dried fruits or sweets on sticks represent the fruits of the earth, the four seasons and the four corners of the earth
- The candle represents Jesus, the light of the world
There is a legend attached to Christingle that involves three poor children who wanted to take a gift to church as a sign of their love for Jesus. They believed all they had of any value was an orange and decorated it with a ribbon and dried fruit. They had to cut away a green and mouldy bit at the top, so cut the skin away and put a candle in the hole. Other children mocked the gift – but not the priest. He displayed it as an understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. So Christingle was born. It was in 1968 that The Children’s Society’s John Pensom introduced these services to England. Special Christingle songs were added. Now these beautiful candlelit events are held in schools and churches throughout the UK.