A Christingle service organised by the Diocese of Connor Mothers’ Union and the clergy of Antrim Parish was held in All Saints’ Parish Centre on Sunday December 8.
There was excellent support from young families, neighbouring Church of Ireland parishes and MU members who travelled from throughout the diocese.
The vicar of Antrim Parish, Archdeacon Stephen McBride has recently been appointed as chaplain to the Mothers’ Union in Connor and this was the first official occasion in which he and the Diocesan President, Mrs Valerie Ash, worked together.
Christingle, meaning Christ Light, originated from the Moravian church in Germany and was first used in a service in Marienborn in 1747. The orange represents the world into which Christ was born and the red ribbon reminds us that his blood was shed for the whole world. The fruits and sweets on the four skewers represent God’s gifts to us, the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. The lighted candle, pushed into the centre of the orange, represents Christ, the light of the world, and the tin foil wrapped around the candle reminds us that we are to reflect Christ’s light in the world in all that we do and say.
The service was led by the Venerable Dr Stephen McBride and the Rev Adrian Halligan, All Saints’ Pastoral Administrator. Valerie Ash, Diocesan President and Claire Thompson, a Mothers’ Union member from Antrim Parish read the two passages of scripture.
The highlight of the service was the lighting of the Christingles. Thankfully, with an excellent risk assessment being carried out beforehand, no one was injured and not a single fire extinguisher was deployed!
Following the distribution of ‘goodie bags’ and some seasonal refreshments, mulled wine and mince pies, a most uplifting act of worship and a very enjoyable occasion came to a close.