Saturday, 18 December 2010

The real Saturday ...

 It was a relief to see the sunshine this morning even if it was just briefly.  With the car still in the drive the photo opportunities were limited to the views from the windows!
 And the blue sky made for better shots of the tree.  
Very few cars ventured out until late in the morning - this splash of colour comes from a police car that was crawling along the Park.
Part of today's work was to prepare the Christingle kits for tomorrow.
This custom began in the Moravian Church ... At Christmas 1747, in Germany, Bishop Johannes de Watteville thought about how he could explain the love of Jesus to everyone, and what Christmas really meant to the children in the church.  
He decided to make a simple symbol to express the message of Christmas in a fresh and lively way. 
Pastor Johannes de Watteville gave each child a lighted candle wrapped in a red ribbon, with a prayer that said "Lord Jesus, kindle a flame in these dear children's hearts". This was the first Christingle service.  This developed into the modern Christingle with the various symbols that are now common.
I give "kits" that can be made up at home ... and there are a number of reasons for doing it this way!  
1.  It involves the entire family and gives a chance for Christian parents to revisit the theme of the day.
2.  You don't have the sticky orange juice all over the pews!
3.  And, as I found out in one church where I was a student, the opportunity for the youngsters to burn the cocktail sticks in the candle flame is avoided!
We make up one or two during the talk ... so the contents of a couple of the "kits" are sitting on the table ready for the demonstration.
The story will be told of how God loves the world (orange).  The four compass points and the four seasons are represented by the cocktail sticks on which there'll be raisins to represent the fruit of the earth - all the good things that God gives to us.
The red ribbon, a symbol of love and showing the death of Jesus for us, is tied around the orange.  Then, the white candle is set in place and lit - Jesus the light of the world.
We have separate candles to light during the service and it is wonderful to watch the light spread throughout the building as each person lights his or her candle from a neighbour's candle.  As we share the good news of Jesus with one another the light of Christ spreads to every 'corner' of the world.
There are various songs that tell the story of the Christingle ... we're using one which is set to a French traditional melody (Lourdes) ..
Round orange, round orange, you serve as a sign 
that God made the round world with purpose divine.
          The power of love is always the same;
           be glad, give thanks, rejoice in God's name. 
Meanwhile the great Antiphons of Advent continue with today's ... 

O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
in ancient times didst give the law
in cloud, and majesty, and awe:
     Rejoice! Rejoice!
     Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Church Hymnal number 135
Advent Antiphon.

1 comment:

jante said...

reading this in 2012, as an ordinand in training I am filing this idea away for the future. I love the idea of sending the families away with a DIY kit for christingle!! Thanks