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Christingle - an explanation

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Published on Nov 29, 2009

This video (designed for UK Key Stage 2 children (7-11 years)) explains the symbolism of the Christingle and how to make one. Using some lovely pictures of S. Thomas the Apostle, Elson in Gosport, it ends with the grace prayer which we give out when the children of the area make their own Christingles on Christmas Eve.

The Christingle is a wonderful, visible reminder of Gods goodness to us, and in this season of Advent or preparation for the coming ofJesus Christ into this world, it can teach us some special things about Jesus.

The Christingle originally came from Germany in the 18th Century, but has also been connected with the tradition of St. Lucia, a Saint in Scandanavia who is associated with light.

Anyone can make a Christingle, and now we will show you how.

You will need:

•An Orange
•Four Cocktail Sticks
•Some sweets: marshmallows or raisins, dolly mixtures are very popular
•Some red ribbon
•A candle. We like to use birthday candles, as there is someones birthday associated with this after all...

Each of these elements signify something special, something to remember about Christmas.

The Orange represents the world, Gods world

On each of the sticks we put some of the sweets, representing thr fruits of Gods creation, his bountiful love to us. The Psalms say Taste and see that the Lord is good and we know that when we taste these good things to each, we know how good God is to us.

The four sticks represent the four seasons, and when placed in the orange represent the directions of North, South, East and West, reminding us that Gods love reaches all over the world.

The ribbon represents the blood that Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross, dying to rise again. Even at Christmas, we need to remind ourselves of the Easter story, and what Jesus did for you and for me.

The candle reminds us of some words of Jesus. He described himself as the light of the world, the light that shines in the darkness, and so even in these dark wintery days we can see the light of Jesus reflected in our faces, and scattering all the sadness and unhappiness that there is in the world.

So there is your Christingle...

Remember what these symbols mean?

The orange is the world
The sticks are the four seasons of the year and the four corners of the earth
The sweets are the fruit of the earth
The ribbon is Christs blood, shed for us.
The candle is Jesus. The light of the world.

Why not take your Christingle, and keep it for Christmas Day? Put it on the Christmas table when you sit down to eat your Christmas dinner with all your family and friends. Light the candle to remind yourselves that Christ is present with you as you eat together.

And why not begin your Christmas Dinner with this Grace prayer:

Dear God,

May we whose faces shine from the light of your Christingle Candle
be blessed this Christmas, be blessed this year.
For family, for friends, for food and for all you do for us,
We give you praise!

Amen!

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