Day: 14/12/2014

Christingle Haiku

Christingle

When children suffer
Jesus spreads his loving arms –
“Let them come to me”

dedicated to @childrensociety http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/

A Christingle is a symbolic object, related to the pomander, used in the advent services of many Christian denominations. A Christingle consists of:

– an orange, which represents the earth;
– a red ribbon around it representing the blood of Christ;
– dried fruits skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons; and
– a lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world.

The word “Christingle” comes from the German Christkindl, and Christingle is originally a German custom and has its origins in the Moravian Church, although the representation of the four seasons was a later addition. At Christmas 1747 in Germany, Bishop Johannes de Watteville in Marienborn thought about how he could explain the love of the Jesus the Christ child (Christkindl in German) and what Christmas really means 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”.

In 1968, John Pensom of The Children’s Society adapted and introduced Christingle services to the Church of England, where the custom spread quickly, and now is also sometimes held in other denominations. It is celebrated sometime around Christmas. Various hymns about Christingle include: The Christingle begins with an orange, We haven’t come far, It’s rounded like an orange (sung to the tune of “The Holly and the Ivy”), and When the frost turns the berries red.

The story of the Christingle is that there were three children, who were very poor, but wanted to give a gift to Jesus, like the other families at church were doing. The only nice thing they had was an orange, so they decided to give him that. The top was going slightly green, so the eldest cut it out and put a candle in the hole. They thought it looked dull, so the youngest girl took her best red ribbon from her hair and attached it round the middle with toothpicks. The middle child had the idea to put a few pieces of dried fruit on the ends of the sticks. They took it to the church for the Christmas mass, and whereas the other children sneered at their meagre gift, the priest took their gift and showed it as an example of true understanding of the meaning of Christmas.

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Third Sunday of Advent Haiku

Advent Crown 3 Candles

Unto us a child,
Wonderful, Everlasting –
The Prince of Peace reigns

– Isaiah 9:6-7

My Favourite Christmas Carols #12 – ‘The Holly and the Ivy’

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly and the ivy
Now both are full well grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir.

Advent: Third Sunday – Isaiah 9:6-7

Advent Crown 3 Candles

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

– Isaiah 9:6-7