Christingle Service
St. Augustine's

December 24 2004

Key :

instructions for congregation
movements during service
prayers and readings
sections of the service

Other information  :

There are some notes on our production of the service.

A rough plan of the church is available.

A note on copyright.


St. Augustine's Christingle Service

All things bright and beautiful

Narrator Welcome !

We welcome you here in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus, Whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow.

No collection will be taken during this service. If you would like to leave a donation, you'll find a box at the back for this purpose.

Many things that we traditionally do or see or hear around Christmas time are symbols, and all of these symbols have a special meaning.

One of these symbols is the Christmas tree. This year we've decorated our tree with silver gift boxes to remind us of the wonderful gifts that God has given to us, and we're going to say a lot more about these gifts in the service.

At the end of each section the Leader will say -

"Let us, together, praise God for His gifts to us"

and we will respond appropriately, following the service sheet or the overhead projector screen.

Let's try it.

Let us, together, praise God for His gifts to us.

ALL We thank and praise You, Almighty God.
Leader Let's try it once more :

Let us, together, praise God for His gifts to us.

ALL We thank and praise You, Almighty God.
Leader Please stand to sing "All things bright and beautiful".
During the last verse of this hymn :
  • Leader returns to organ side ready to bring tree to front;
    Reader comes to lectern.
  • Helpers line up on organ side ready to bring their creation gifts to the front :
    • DO NOT pick up your gift until it is your turn to go up;
    • THEN take your gift to the centre,
    • HOLD UP to show congregation,
    • THEN place in its appropriate place and return to your place.
    • DO NOT go between projector and Christmas tree.
Chorus :

  All things bright and beautiful,
  All creatures great and small,
  All things wise and wonderful,
  The Lord God made them all.

1.   Each little flower that opens,
  Each little bird that sings,
  He made their glowing colours,
  He made their tiny wings.


2.   The purple-headed mountain,
  The river running by,
  The sunset, and the morning
  That brightens up the sky :


3.   The cold wind in the winter,
  The pleasant summer sun,
  The ripe fruits in the garden,
  He made them every one.


4.   The tall trees in the greenwood,
  The meadows where we play,
  The rushes by the water
  We gather every day :


5.   He gave us eyes to see them,
  And lips that we might tell,
  How great is God Almighty,
  Who has made all things well.


Reader Please sit.

As it says on the curtain behind the altar ( point ), God's greatest gift to us is His Son Jesus, and tonight we shall explore some of God's gifts as we link the life of Jesus to two special symbols -

The Christingle


The Advent Wreath.

The Christingle, which we will make later in the service, is made up of four parts.

The first part of the Christingle is the orange, which symbolises God's gift shown to us through His creation of the world in which we live -

( Helper brings on the 'orange' and places on the stand. )
 - for the Bible tells us in Genesis Chapter 1 that -

God created the universe

and when He had finished -

God looked at everything He had made and it was very good.

Just think about those parts of creation that are mentioned in the hymn we have just sung, and thank God for His goodness.

We thank God for His gift to us of all creatures great and small.

Elephants on screen, Helper places whale picture against table, Helper places tortoise on table. )


 We thank God for His gift to us of the flowers in all their beauty and variety.
Snowdrops on screen. Helper places basket of flowers on table. )


 We thank God for His gift to us of all the birds of so many sorts.
Birds on screen, Helper places duck on table. )


 We thank God for His gift to us of the great mountains in their majesty.
Mountain on screen. )

PAUSE count to 5

 We thank God for His gift to us of the rivers running by.
River on screen. )

PAUSE count to 5

 We thank God for His gift to us of the sun, rising and setting to bring light and life.
Sunset on screen. )

PAUSE count to 5

 We thank God for His gift to us of the wind that moves the clouds and spreads the seeds.
Wind-blown tree on screen. )

PAUSE count to 5

 We thank God for His gift to us of the trees and the meadows bringing shelter and food for the stock, and delight to the eye.
Trees and meadows on screen, Helper places tree on table. )


 We thank God for His gift to us of the watery places, nourishing and draining the land.
Tarn on screen, Helper places rushes in vase on table. )
 But most wonderful of all, God has made us able to see and hear and feel and know the wonder and glory of the world He has made - so let us give thanks :

Gracious heavenly Father, we thank You that You have given us eyes to see the beautiful things that You have created and voices that we might praise Your wonderful creation. Let us, together, praise God for His gifts to us.

ALL We thank and praise You, Almighty God, for Your wonderful gift of creation.

Second : the fruits.

The second part of the Christingle is the four arms or fruits, symbolising God's love shown to us through His provision and His blessing in each and every season.

God's people have marvelled at these wonders since long before the time of Jesus. This reading comes from the Old Testament of the Bible :

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 verses 1, 2 and 14 :

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.

He sets the time for birth and the time for death, the time for planting and the time for pulling up.

I know that everything God does will last for ever. You can't add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of Him.

Think about the four seasons as we add the four arms to the Christingle, and thank God for His goodness.

The first arm and its fruit remind us of spring, bringing new birth, spring flowers and lengthening daylight hours.

Spring on screen, Helper places one arm on Christingle. )
 We thank God for His gift to us of the freshness of spring.

The second arm and its fruit remind us of summer, bringing growth, summer flowers and longer daylight hours.

Summer on screen, Helper places second arm on the Christingle. )
 We thank God for His gift to us of the delight of summer.

The third arm and its fruit remind us of autumn, bringing harvest, falling leaves and shortening daylight hours.

Autumn on screen, Helper places third arm on the Christingle. )
 We thank God for His gift to us of the harvest of autumn.

The fourth arm and its fruit remind us of winter, bringing colder days, rain, firelight and shorter daylight hours.

Winter on screen, Helper places fourth arm on the Christingle. )
 We thank God for His gift to us of the coolness of winter.

We thank You for the changing seasons of the year, for the great variety of fruit and vegetables which we grow and enjoy.

We also thank You for the seasons of our lives; may we use each season to grow closer to You.

Let us, together, praise God for His gifts to us.

ALL Thank You for all the changing seasons of our lives.


Leader We haven't finished with the Christingle yet, but now we'll think for a while about the second symbol - that's the Advent Wreath.

The Advent Wreath is made up of a circle of evergreen leaves entwined around four candles with a fifth candle in the centre.

  • The evergreen represents everlasting life found in Christ; the circle of the wreath symbolises life without end; and the candles remind us of Christ as the light of the world.
  • The four outer candles represent HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE
  • The centre candle represents JESUS, THE BABY BORN IN BETHLEHEM.


The Bible as we know it today is divided into two main sections.

The first section, the Old Testament, tells the history of the Jewish people and their expectation and HOPE in a special person - the Messiah - who would be their deliverer and saviour.

The second section, the New Testament, tells of the birth of this saviour, Jesus Christ, His life, His death and His resurrection and then continues with the actions of Jesus's followers in setting up the Christian church.

( Helper places Bible on stand on the altar. )

PAUSE whilst Bible is put in place.

Leader We light the candle of HOPE to remind us of God's promises to His people and the hope they have in Jesus Christ and His promise of eternal life.
( Helper lights the first candle on the Advent Wreath from one of the altar candles, then returns to side aisle. )
Leader Let us, together, praise God for His gift to us.
ALL We thank You for the Hope which You give to Your people.
Leader Please stand to sing "Away in a manger".
During this hymn, Readers prepare for the next reading, and helpers prepare to carry in Joseph, Mary, and the Baby.

1.   Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
  The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
  The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
  The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

2.   The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
  But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.
  I love Thee, Lord Jesus ! Look down from the sky
  And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

3.   Be near me, Lord Jesus : I ask Thee to stay
  Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
  Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
  And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there.

LeaderPlease sit
Reader Luke Chapter 2 verses 1-14.

The Birth of Jesus.

At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire.

Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own town.

Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to the town of Bethlehem in Judaea, the birthplace of King David.

Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David.

( Helper places Joseph on the table. )
 He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him.
( Helper places Mary on the table. )
 She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her Baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped Him in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger -
( Helper places "baby" in manger. )
 - there was no room for them to stay in the inn.


And there were shepherds in the fields nearby.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around.

The angel said :

"Do not be afraid ! I am here with Good News for you, which will bring great joy to all people. Today, your Saviour was born, Christ the Lord".

Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the firat angel, singing praises to God :

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom He is pleased !"

When the angels went away from them back into heaven then the shepherds hurried off to Bethlehem to find the place where Jesus was born.

( Helper puts sheep on floor in front of manger and returns to side aisle. )
 We light the second candle on the Advent Wreath - ( Helper lights candle ) - the candle that reminds us of God's promise which was given by the angels to the shepherds - the promise of of Peace to all who please the Lord.
ALL We thank You for Your gift of peace.


The visit of the Wise Men.

Matthew Chapter 2 v 1-12

Soon after Jesus's birth, some men who studied the stars came from the East to Jerusalem and asked,

"Where is the baby born to be king of the Jews ? We saw his star when it came up in the east and we have come to worship Him."

The chief priests and teachers of the law said :

"He will be born in the town of Bethlehem in Judaea"

And so the men left Jerusalem and travelled to Bethlehem, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the East. It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child was.

They went into the house, and when they saw the Child with His mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped Him.

They brought out their gifts of gold,

( Next helper brings gold to table. )
( Next helper brings frankincense to table. )
 and myrrh.
( Next helper brings myrrh to table. )
 Then they returned to their country full of joy that they had seen the baby born to be king.
LeaderWe light the third candle on the Advent Wreath - ( Light candle ) - the candle that reminds us of God's gift of Joy.
ALL We thank You for Your gift of joy.
Leader Please stand to sing "Joy to the world".

1.   Joy to the world; the Lord is come !
  Let earth receive her King !
  Let every heart prepare Him room,
  And heav'n and nature sing,
  And heav'n and nature sing,
  And heav'n, and heav'n and nature sing.

2.   Joy to the world; the Saviour reigns !
  Let men their songs employ,
  While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains,
  Repeat the sounding joy,
  Repeat the sounding joy
  Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3.   He rules the world with truth and grace,
  And makes the nations prove
  The glories of His righteousness
  And wonders of His love,
  And wonders of His love,
  And wonders, and wonders of His love.

Leader Please sit.


The fourth candle on the Advent Wreath is the candle of love.

In John Chapter 3 verse 16 we read :

"For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not die, but have eternal life".

We light the fourth candle on the Advent Wreath - ( Light candle ) - the candle that reminds us of God's gift of Love.

Let us, together, praise God for His gift to us.

ALL Thank You, God, for your gift of love.

Third : the red ribbon.

Leader Now we'll spend a little more time with the Christingle. The third part of the Christingle is made up of a red ribbon that circles the orange.

This ribbon is red like blood to remind us of Jesus's sacrificial love as He willingly died on the Cross that our sins might be forgiven. It goes all round the orange to show that Jesus's sacrifice is for ALL, whoever they may be, who choose to accept that sacrifice.

Reader This reading is taken from Acts Chapter 10 verses 34-43.

Peter, one of Jesus's disciples, began to speak : "I now realise that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. Those who worship Him and do what is right are acceptable to Him, no matter what race they belong to.

You know the message He sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism. You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on Him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with Him.

We are witnesses of everything that He did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem.

Then they put Him to death by nailing Him to a cross. But God raised Him from death three days later, and caused Him to appear, not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had chosen, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from death. And He commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead.

All the prophets spoke about Him, saying that all who believe in Him will have their sins forgiven through the power of His name."

LeaderAnd so we place this red ribbon around the Christingle to remind us of the love Jesus has for all people and His willingness to die for each one of us.
( Next helper puts red ribbon around Christingle. )
 We thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your sacrificial gift to us.
ALL We thank You, Jesus.
Leader The fourth and last part of the Christingle is the candle, which symbolises God's light that shines through the life and witness of Jesus and of all His followers.

So we place the candle in the orange to remind us of the wonderful light that Jesus brings into the lives of all who love Him and desire to follow Him.

( Put candle in Christingle and light it. )
 Thank You, Lord, for the light that shines forth from Your people.

Let us, together, praise God for His gift to us.

ALL May we also receive Your gift of light.


Tomorrow as we celebrate the Birthday of Jesus, help us to remember all that Jesus has done for us.

As the last part of the Christingle celebrates the ministry of Jesus, so the last candle in the Advent Wreath stands for Jesus Himself.

The centre candle in the Advent Wreath is the Jesus candle, and as we light it now let us pause for a moment to think about all He means to us.

( Next helper lights centre candle. )


 Thank You, Jesus, for all You have given us.

Let us, together, praise God for His gifts to us.

ALL Thank You, Jesus.
Leader Please stand to sing "The first Nowell".
During this hymn, leader and helpers go to the back; preacher comes to the front.

1.   The first Nowell the angel did say
  Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
  In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep,
  On a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Chorus :

  Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
  Born is the King of Israel.

2.   They lookèd up and saw a star,
  Shining in the east beyond them far,
  And to the earth it gave great light
  And so it continued both day and night.


3.   And by the light of that same star
  Three Wise Men came from country far;
  To seek for a king was their intent,
  And to follow the star wherever it went.


4.   This star drew nigh to the north-west;
  O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
  And there it did both stop and stay,
  Right over the place where Jesus lay.


5.   Then entered in those Wise Men three,
  Full reverently upon their knee,
  And offered there in His presence
  Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.


6.   Then let us all with one accord
  Sing praises to our Heavenly Lord,
  That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
  And with His blood mankind hath bought.


Preacher Please sit.

Short message;

Explain Christingle ( again ) and how to make it;

Making the Christingle;

Lighting and blessing the Christingle.

( Main lights off. )

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday dear Jesus -
Happy Birthday to You.


( Main lights on. )

Pray-ers come to the front.

Leader Requests the congregation to extinguish their candles.

Please sit or kneel for the prayer, ending with the singing of the Lord's Prayer.

Pray-ers Thank You, God, for all Your wonderful gifts to us - the gifts of Your creation, the gifts of Your Son Jesus, the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. Help us to use these gifts generously and prayerfully.

We thank You for Jesus and all He means to us. May our understanding and love for Him increase during the coming year.

We pray for all who are sad and lonely at this time; please bring joy and companionship into their lives.

We pray for all who are at war with one another. May Your kingdom of peace begin to reign in their hearts today and always.


ALL Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth, as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and for ever. Amen
Leader Please stand for the Carol.
Pray-ers go to the back.

1.   Silent night, Holy night,
  All is calm, all is bright.
  Round yon Virgin Mother and child,
  Holy infant, so tender and mild,
  Sleep in heavenly peace;
  Sleep in heavenly peace.

2.   Silent night, holy night,
  Shepherds quake at the sight;
  Glories stream from heaven afar,
  Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia;
  Christ the Saviour is born,
  Christ the Saviour is born.

3.   Silent night, holy night,
  Son of God, love's pure light,
  Radiance beams from Thy holy face,
  With the dawn of redeeming grace,
  Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
  Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

Narrator Blessing

We invite you to join us for a cuppa in the Hall ( behind the church ) at the end of this service.

Those taking part :