Mae oren y Cristingl

Sunday 8 December 2019

Our annual Carol Service took a different turn this year, when we each took an orange and a kit of parts and tried to assemble a Christingle like the ones on the table and that Margaret is holding! The custom can be traced back to a Moravian church minister in Germany in 1747, and was introduced to the UK in 1968 as a fund-raiser for The Children’s Society, but this seems to have been a first for EWS!

Naturally there was a Welsh “Cân y Cristingl” by Glyndwr Williams (read the words at this link), sung to the tune The Holly and the Ivy. Add to that five readings and six other carols and Christmas hymns, and we definitely earned our tea! The singing went well, though we missed a number of our regulars.

The service was devised, organised and led by Margaret Brandie, and our thanks go both to her and to the whole Brandie family who were involved in different ways. Thanks also to Huw Thomas for leading from the piano and to Jennifer Welsher, who organised the refreshments.

Afterwards your webmaster also enjoyed that evening’s edition of Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol, which was based at St Fagans National History Museum and looked at how Christmas in Wales has changed over the centuries. Cor Caerdydd sang well, despite the evidently cold chapel! For the next month you can enjoy the programme at this link.

The explanation for the Christingle symbol is

  • the orange is round like the world
  • the candle stands tall and straight and gives light in the dark like the love of God
  • the red ribbon goes all around the ‘world’ and is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed when he died for us
  • the four sticks point in all directions and symbolise North, South, East and West – they also represent the four seasons
  • the fruit represents the fruits of the earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain