Here’s a great outline for an alternative Christingle service, a guest post from David Moore, reader at St Mary’s, Lowdham.
You will need:
- A large cabbage (savoy, not the hard, close type)
- Gaffer tape / duct tape
- 4 large nuts and bolts
The items could be scattered around the church for children to find and bring up, or they could be in a box in which you or the children rummage.
Oh yes, dear me, I know what I was supposed to have done. Make a Christingle! But I forgot. Perhaps you can help me. What do we need to make a Christingle? What is the main part?
(congregation responds – an orange)
I don’t have one of those with me. What is that supposed to represent?
The world? Hmm. Is there anything else I could use that’s round?
(If items are hidden around the church, ask children to find something round)
Now what have I got? A cabbage. Yes, that will do.
It’s green, that symbolises all the life of earth, and how we should care for it. What else is missing?
(Indicate around the cabbage)
Oh dear – I don’t have any to hand. (Send children to find something like red tape) What about gaffer tape? That will go round it.
But that’s for mending things!
Yes, I know. There are a lot of broken things on the earth. Things that aren’t right. Things that cause pain. Things that go wrong. Bad things that people do. There’s a ring of hurt all round the lovely earth that God created. Now then, what else am I missing?
Why a candle?
To give light
OK, I don’t have a candle. (Send children to find something like a candle) Ah, but I have a torch.
A nice bright torch to shine in all the dark corners. A torch brings light and the darkness cannot overcome it. Jesus is like a torch. He brings light into dark places, and the darkness cannot overcome him.
What else do I need for the Christingle?
Four lots of fruit?
What are they for?
The four seasons
You’ll never guess – I haven’t any of those either! (Send children to find four of something)
Nuts and bolts?
Well, nuts are fruit, aren’t they? So if we screw the nuts onto the bolts, and ram them into the cabbage… Nuts, whole hazelnuts. Oo! Cadbury’s take ’em and they cover them in chocolate (sung to the tune of the advert of (ahem) years ago). Do you remember that advert? Shows my age.
There. That’s a perfect Christingle! What do you think?
Light and darkness – John 1.1-5 and Genesis 1.1-5
Do these readings with the lights off if possible
Start with lights off
- My gaffer tape on the Christingle is not so daft – Still broken-ness and darkness in the world
- It is dark because bad things happen
- Put red tape over the gaffer tape on Cabbage Christingle – Jesus’ power overcomes the broken-ness and darkness
- Message of hope and light: John was speaking about a light and hope that darkness cannot overpower (light candle on real Christingle).
- God said ‘Let there be light’
- Both in creation, and now
- God’s love is like a light in the darkness
- Blow out candle
- If my candle goes out, Jesus is always there (relight from advent candle)
- We can share God’s light and love with those around us
- End of row – please light the candle of the person on the NEXT ROW first. Then light the candle of the person next to you. Please keep long hair tucked away.
- The light will gradually spread through church
- Music – I want to walk as a child of the light
- If your candle goes out, relight it from someone nearby. What does that
- Together, we make much more light than as an individual Christian.
Adapted from resources by The Children’s Society