who, thanks to the Atlantic Ocean, has managed to live a blameless life, free from any pernicious taint of Christingle!
I guess the main thing to know about said service is that it is staggeringly popular, attended by scores of people who wouldn't dream of setting foot in a church on other occasions. It combines children and sweets, carols and candlelight...is it any wonder that it packs them in the pews?
It's also a rather clever way of persuading people to support a worthy cause,- but I do have very mixed feelings about it, even when I'm not jetlagged before I start the proceedings. I'm fairly soggy at heart, but in all honesty Christingle does border on the unbearably sentimental. Only on a very a good day, can I feel OK about "Away in a manger" by candlelight. Christingle makes me want to imitate an Anglo Catholic priest (who is undoubtedly famous, which is probably why I can't even begin to recall his name)..and who used, iirc, to shock his congregation at Midnight Mass each year by removing the baby from the crib and placing a cross there instead, which is strange, because the circumstances of the children that Christingle sets out to support have far more in common with the suffering God than with chocolate-box commercialism.
So I'm probably being unreasonable...and most years, I devise Christingle services with good grace. This year's grimble factor is probably just part of the post India fall-out. Anyway, here is a Christingle in all its glory, plus the official info from the Children's Society US friends want to experiment, there's enough material there to keep you going for years!website.
Christingle services bring together family and friends of all ages. Held from Advent to Epiphany, this festive celebration communicates the Christian message in an inspiring way to adults and children alike. Its wide appeal makes it an ideal way to encourage newcomers to church and extend your congregation.
The Children's Society holds its special Christingle appeal each year to raise vital funds for the children facing life's harshest challenges. Children who may find themselves sleeping rough this winter; or fleeing conflict and war; caught in a cycle of crime; or marginalised due to a disability. The funds raised from Christingle help us to shine light into the darkness of their lives.
Christingle was established by the Moravian Church in 1747 as a symbol of Christ's light and love. The word itself means Christ light. The Children's Society introduced it to the Church of England in 1968 and it has since become a popular family and community event.
The Christingle itself is made up of a lighted candle (symbolising Jesus, the Light of the World), mounted on an orange (representing the world), and a red ribbon or tape around the middle of the orange (indicating the blood/ love of Christ). Four cocktail sticks bearing dried fruit or sweets are also stuck into the orange to signify the four seasons and the fruits of the earth.
So there you have it. If any U.S friends want to experiment, the Children's Society website surely has enough material to keep you going for years,- but I won't blame you if you decide to give it a miss!