09.12.15 - Two Hundred Year Old Christmas Tradition Celebrated at Christingle Service

A 200 year old tradition and highlight of the festive season at Ockbrook School is being celebrated by staff and students once again this year at the annual Christingle services.

Pupils across the school, from as young as two years old to sixth formers, are taking part in a series of special children’s services designed to remind us that the Christ-child lies at the heart of Christmas celebrations. The services are hosted in the Moravian Church alongside Ockbrook School in Ockbrook, Derbyshire.

Tom Brooksby, Headmaster at Ockbrook School, says: “The Christingle services are key dates in Ockbrook School’s calendar and they have been enjoyed by countless generations of students at the school. It’s a wonderful way of welcoming in the festive season for all ages.

“The Christingle itself is something that our children cherish. For our younger children it consists of an orange, representing the world, with a lighted candle to represent Christ, the Light of the World. Nuts, raisins and sweets on cocktail sticks around the candle represent God’s bounty and goodness in providing the fruits of the earth. Red paper, forming a frill around the base of the candle, reminds us of the blood of Christ shed for all people on the cross at Calvary.

“And to show that we move with the times, we have created a more modern take on the Christingle for our older students. It’s made using a laser cutter in school. The circular base represents the orange, symbolising the world, with a red tea-light representing the blood of Christ – the sweets and candle remain the same. These resonate well with our senior students.”

The idea of the Christingle began in the Moravian congregation of Marienborn, Germany, on 20th December, 1747. This Moravian Christmas celebration has been widely adopted by churches of other denominations and the church receives many enquiries as to its origin and meaning.

No one knows for certain when the word “Christingle” was first used or from what it is derived. Various suggestions have been made. One is that it comes from the old Saxon word “ingle” (fire), meaning “Christ-fire or light”. Another is that it derives from the German “engel” (angel), meaning “Christ-angel”, or it may derive from the German “kindle” (child), meaning “Christ-child”.