Fresh from our Christmas eve kids' church service, known as Christingle, the kids were struck by how much our Yorkshire pudding looked like a cradle.... so they struck a pose pretending to pray to the baby Jesus who might lie in such a manger.
And then we devoured it.
Seriously, though, the Christingle service was a beautiful thing. It was held at 4pm and all the village families turn out with kids in tow for a service that is aimed at delivering the message of Christmas in a 40 minute, child-size mass. There were two highlights to the service, that really made it stand out as special for the kids:
1.) The reading of the Nativity story (usually a plodding affair that takes half an hour and accents just how dull a bad reader can make any text) was a joyful, noisy affair: The vicar chose about six child volunteers out of the congregation and then gave each of them a sign with a word on it: star, angel, animals, etc. and then gave instructions to the audience to do a particular motion or make a sound when a sign was raised. So as he read the Nativity story every time he said "animal" a chorus of moos, quacks, baas, chimpanzees, and cawing would rise from all congregation, or when he said "angel" everyone would raise their hands and gasp in wonder.
It was really fun and I have never seen children pay such rapt attention to a reading in church before.
2.) The gift of Christingle:
- an orange representing the world
- a red ribbon around it representing the blood of Jesus
- marshmallows, raisins, and a peanut skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons
- a lighted candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world (a glow stick is used in the oranges presented to the younger children)
Truly beautiful and easily the most enjoyable Christmas service I have been to since having children.
I still owe you a story about picking up Daddy-007 at Heathrow and other tales from the Christmas season but am just now starting to wind down from the work of Christmas week. We are off to an aquarium in Brighton today.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are getting some rest and relaxation this weekend!