On the 8th December the Parade and Toy Service will be combined with Messy Church and will take the form of a Christingle Service.
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 1700s. In Moravian churches, the Christingle Service is usually held on the Sunday before Christmas or on Christmas Eve. The word Christingle could have come from an ‘English’ version of ‘Christkindl’ meaning little Christ child.
Christingles became widely known in England because the Children’s Society (one of the earliest children’s charities in the UK which has strong connections with the Church of England) offer the resources for the service as a means of raising the Charity’s profile.
We’re going to link our making of the Christingle to what was the first song of the New Testament. It’s the song that Mary sang when she visited her cousin Elizabeth to share the news of the baby Jesus inside her. This was going to be a baby who would change everything, and the song reflects that. Jesus was going to turn everything the right way up again because we as human beings have messed up God’s world. Mary sings about this with amazement in her song of praise. She gained new perspectives on God’s love for her and sings of how God is creating a new sort of family for the humble, the poor and the powerless. As Christians, we know that everything depended on Mary’s ‘yes’ to the angel Gabriel’s message from God. Because of it, the incarnation was possible, which in time led to our salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mary’s song is in effect the first Christmas carol of the season – but it can be sung at any time because (like the Christingle itself) it celebrates the story of God’s love for every individual and for the whole world.