The meaning of Christingle


Christingle is a joyful celebration that brings families and communities together. The service at Church of the Holy Spirit in Rye Harbour is always well attended and enjoyed.

What is Christingle?
Christingles are oranges wrapped in red tape, decorated with dried fruit or sweets, with a candle on the top.

What do the red tape, the sweets and the candle represent?
Each element of a Christingle has a special meaning. The orange represents the world. The red ribbon symbolises the love and blood of Christ. The sweets on four cocktail sticks represent all of God’s creation and the sticks show the four seasons. Lastly, the lit candle represents Jesus’s light in the world which brings hope to people who are living in darkness and troubled times.

Where and when did Christingle first originate?
In England the celebrations have been taking place for over fifty years. The very first service was in Lincoln Cathedral in 1968 but Christingles originated in a Moravian church in Germany in 1747. Bishop Johannes de Wattville wanted to explain in a simple way to children how God loves us all and gives us a wonderful world to live in.


The Children’s Society, which is a national charity working to transform the hopes and happiness of young people facing exploitation, abuse and neglect, has adopted this service as a way of raising funds and for awareness of the work that they do.

The Church of the Holy Spirit in Rye Harbour opens its doors on Sunday, December 18 at 2pm and welcomes everyone to share in this special service. The members of the congregation will go home with a Christingle that they have made during the service. As to whether the sweets actually make it home is a moot point as many of the children feel the need just to test them out as they are making their Christingles.

Image Credits: Kt bruce , Martin Bruce .

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