Have you ever been to a Christingle? Held between mid-November and Christmas, this service of hymns and readings is a popular part of festive celebrations. Christingles are oranges decorated with a candle (which is lit during the service), red ribbon, dried fruits and sweets on cocktail sticks. The symbols highlight different parts of the Christian story. Seeing children carefully holding their lighted Christingles and hearing the singing of familiar carols can be a magical step on the way Christmas Day.
Christingle comes originally from a traditional Moravian service for children, dating from 1747, though the modern version we know today started in 1968. That was when the first Christingle service in the Church of England was held by The Children’s Society to raise funds for disadvantaged children. The event caught on. Now, hundreds of churches, cathedrals, schools and community venues up and down the country hold Christingle services. There were more than 6000 last year.
Celebrating 50 Years Of Christingle
This year, The Children’s Society celebrates 50 years of Christingle. Every year, more than 1 million older children have to deal with at least seven serious problems in their lives. These can include poverty, abuse and mental health problems. An estimated 100,000 children and young people also go missing or run away from home or care. Christingle raises vital funds to help children who are facing Christmas alone and are unable to cope.
The charity has cooked up its own delicious Christingle Cake recipe for you to enjoy. Why not make it for a Christingle service, a family party, or even as an alternative Christmas cake? You can also show your support by attending a local Christingle service, or by making a donation. If you’d like to make your own Christingle at home, this guide from The Children’s Society will show you how.