for the
Christingle Service
St. Augustine's

2006 December 24

These are notes and comments on some of the items which appear in the Christingle Service script. Links from the script point to these entries; clicking the links in the left hand column of the table takes you back to the corresponding link in the script - or, where more than one link from the script points to the note, back to the first such link.

The comments are typically related to features of the service which are specific to our church or the time of the service, or which for some other reason we think might require alteration for another setting.

For references to the internal geography of the church, it might be helpful to inspect the plan.


  • Camp fire for shepherds to sit around, out of the way but ready to move into position;
  • Tree of knowledge : a small tree with fruit on it, on a table in front of the altar. One of the fruit splits in two for Adam and Eve to share.
  • Advent wreath : all candles lit.
  • Christmas Tree decorated with doves.
  • Stable.
  • Manger : in the stable.
  • On blue curtain : doves and "SHALOM PEACE BE WITH YOU" in "gold" capital letters.


  • Doll hidden by manger ready to be Jesus, with cloth for wrapping the "baby";
  • Demonstration Christingle parts : at the back of the church :
    • "Orange";
    • Four "arms" representing protection, peace, provision, purpose;
    • Red ribbon;
    • Candle.
    • Also Christingle kits for people to assemble during the service.
    Christingle stand on a small table by the communion rail;
  • One assembled Christingle and one unassembled Christingle kit at the lectern;
  • Eleven cards at the back with the ten commandments and "I AM the Lord Your God".


  • Narrator at lectern (or proceeds in from the back);
  • Reader at lectern (or proceeds in from back);
  • Computer person at computer;
  • Organist at organ;
  • Angel on chair by organ.

ADVENT WREATH We follow the custom of the Advent Wreath ( described here - or, for a brief summary, here ). If you don't, you'll have to make several changes to the service.

BRINGS ON ( COMMANDMENTS ) Eleven notices, one for each of the ten commandments and one for "I AM the Lord Your God". These are displayed at the front of the church for some time, so should be big enough to read from anywhere in the church, and have provision for attaching to something convenient. ( We attached ours to our altar. )

In most cases, we didn't use the whole Biblical text, or there wouldn't have been room; instead we used the abbreviated forms listed in the script.

CAMP FIRE Our usual electric "fire".

CHERUB We didn't appoint a special cherub; the angel who has just shooed Adam and Eve out of the garden does the job, which fits in nicely, and later appears in the nativity scenes.

CHRISTMAS TREE A traditional Christmas tree, decorated only with white paper doves. There were no lights, but the tree as a whole was illuminated with a spotlight.

CLOSES ALTAR RAIL The altar rail is between the altar area of our church and the seating for the congregation; it has a hinged section in the middle which is normally open but closed for use as a communion rail when required. ( See the plan for clarification. ) We used this as our gate for the Garden of Eden. If you don't have anything like that, it might be worth building something; the sight of the angel standing sternly behind the closed gate was very effective.

CURTAIN BEHIND THE ALTAR - or somewhere prominent and readily visible to the congregation. Our curtain was decorated with the theme of the service :


in large "gold" letters, and with two or three paper doves.

DEMONSTRATION CHRISTINGLE We have an enlarged model Christingle which we use to demonstrate the parts and the construction. It is big enough to see from anywhere in the church, and has a supporting stand so that it can stand by itself.

DOVESFlat white paper doves, big enough to be clearly visible from the back of the hall. Ours were around 20cm high. It looks well if you use a few different dove pictures - perched, flying, pointing in different directions, etc. Most of our doves were on the Christmas Tree, but a few were distributed in other prominent places.

FRUITSThe fruits represent :

Take your pick. Our emphasis is closest to the last one, which is from the Moravian Church in Britain. That seems appropriate, as the Christingle was originally a Moravian church tradition.

GIFTSFor the Wise Men's gifts we use three containers, painted blue, purple, and gold.

HIDE BEHIND CHRISTMAS TREE- or anywhere convenient. We found we couldn't fit both actors behind the tree, so one hid behind and the other in front.

MANGERSomething that could plausibly be a feeding box for cattle. Anything that looks like the traditional notion of the manger would probably do. Obviously, it has to be big enough to hold the Jesus doll. Ours is like this.

SCREENDuring our services we project the script onto a screen mainly so that the congregation can follow the words even when they are mangled by our very amateur cast. This note is a suggestion for screen displays during the description of the Christingle routine.

STABLEThe stable must be big enough to accommodate Mary, Joseph, and the manger in reasonable comfort. It will later become Mary and Joseph's house. Our stable was made from two wooden clothes driers and draped with sheets, which would be rather hard to describe, and in any case you probably wouldn't have the bits. Improvise.

TREE OF KNOWLEDGEFor the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, we used a small model tree with fruit on it, on a table in front of the altar. One of the fruit splits in two for Adam and Eve to share.

We used a "fruit" from a child's set of fruit and vegetables, made to split in two for play purposes. The "fruit" was made of polystyrene foam, painted and cut in two, and reattached by fastening Velcro to both faces of the cut. It stuck together convincingly, and made a very satisfactory crunchy splitting noise when the two parts were twisted apart.

DO NOT really eat the fruit !