The History of Christingles
The idea of Christingles came from a Moravian Church in Germany in 1747. The minister, John de Watteville, gave children at the service a lighted candle with a red ribbon around it. This represented Jesus being the light of the world and the final prayer of that first service was "Lord Jesus, kindle a flame in these children’s hearts, that theirs like Thine become". The custom went around the world with the church. Missionaries brought the Moravian Church to England in the late 1700s. In Moravian churches, the Christingle Service is usually held on the Sunday before Christmas or on Christmas Eve.
Over the years the symbolism of the Christingle grew into what's known as a Christingle today. Here's what the different parts of the Christingle represent:
- The orange is round like the world.
- The candle stands tall and straight and gives light in the dark like the love of God.
- The red ribbon goes all around the 'world' and is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed when he died for us. (Sometimes in Moravian Churches a white ribbon is used, to represent the purity of Jesus.)
- The four sticks point in all directions and symbolise North, South, East and West - they also represent the four seasons.
- The fruit and nuts (or sometimes sweets!) represent the fruits of the earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain.
This week, children have made their own Christingles ready for out service this afternoon.