A minister friend, who was born in England, told me about the Christingle and with the information she gave me and doing an internet search, I gathered the following information that may help others have a Christingle Christmas.
Christingle means "Christ Child" in German. It is a fruit craft and ceremony that includes a candle (light of the world).
The Christingle has its origins in a Moravian children's service held in a castle in Germany on Christmas Eve in 1747.
The bishop conducting the informal service gave each child a lighted candle, tied with a red ribbon, in memory of the Saviour's coming which he said has kindled a flame in each heart which keeps burning "to His joy, and our happiness".
Much later, this simple candle was replaced by a more elaborate Christingle which is rich in symbolism.
The modern Christingle consists of (I've added scripture readings to be read as you make the Christingle):
- an orange . . . representing the world
Scripture: Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1; Jeremiah 32:17
- a red ribbon, tied round the orange . . . representing the blood of Jesus OR the love of God encompassing the entire earth
Scripture: John 3:16; Psalm 119:64; John 15:12
- four toothpicks - North, South, East & West representing the four seasons
*see note at end of lesson for alternative to toothpicks
Scripture: Psalm 107:2,3
- fruits and sweets (raisins & small candies), skewered on 4 cocktail sticks (toothpicks) which are pushed into the orange . . . representing God's good gifts - the fruits of the earth and the four seasons
Scripture: Genesis 1:3,4; Genesis 1:29
- a small cross-shaped cut: The cross on which Christ died for our sins, into this cut is place the candle
Scripture: Genesis 3:4-6; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:8
- a lighted candle, pushed into the centre of the orange . . . representing Christ, the light of the world (can use a small white candle with foil or a birthday candle with holder)
Scripture: John 1:1-5
How to make a Christingle:
From the Children's Society in the UK: Directions and photos
Their Christingle site: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/
Other Ideas for other workshops:
Also at the Children's Society UK Website additional material can e found: under School & Youth Resources: Children's Society UK Christingle Site
Music - Christingle Song (sung to the tune of Give Me Oil in My Lamp)
Drama - under Assembly Resources "What Kind of Light Are You?" (this would be good to do at the end of rotation in front of the congregation)
Games - several ideas
Art - make a Christingle
We hold the CHRISTINGLE
The sign of the World
The Fruits of the earth
On its four points are curled
We say "Thank You" to God
For sending His Son
And the candles are lit
To remind everyone
Of a baby called JESUS
Born in the night
To rescue mankind out of darkness to LIGHT.
* Toothpick alternative - was shopping in the grocery store and picked up a package of "Plastic Heart Picks" name brand 'Diamond' - you get 120 picks in a clear container with a lid. One end of the pick is shaped in an arrow and heart shaped at the other. Better as you don't have a sharp end to worry about and the candies won't slide off the end. I also tried them when I got home on a tangerine and they slide in nicely.