A growing number of churches hold Christingle services at or around Christmas. These services – which derive from a Moravian custom of distributing lighted candles to children on Christmas Eve – celebrate Christ, the Light of the World.
The Christingle is an orange, decorated with a red ribbon, sweets and nuts, in which is placed a small candle. The orange represents the world, the ribbon Christ’s blood, and the sweets and nuts the fruits of the earth.
Christingle services may be held in Advent, at Christmas, or in Epiphany. The emphasis will vary according to the season, e.g. ‘the hope of light in the darkness’ (Advent), ‘the birth of Jesus, the Light of the world’ (Christmas), ‘God’s light for all people’ (Epiphany).
The music chosen should aim to reflect the theme and season. This is particularly important for services in Advent which (if Christmas carols and hymns are introduced) can result in much of the anticipatory nature of Advent being lost.
The Christingles are made up as follows
- An Orange, which represents the World that God made.
- A Red Ribbon tied around the Orange, representing the Blood of Christ
- A Lighted Candle representing Jesus Christ, shining in the world today
- Four cocktail sticks, representing the four seasons
- And some dried fruit, nuts and sweets representing God’s gifts to the world.