Carols by Candlelight – Sunday 18th December
You are invited to join us for the traditional service of Carols by Candlelight at Holy Cross Church, Caston on Sunday 18th December at 6.30pm. This magical service brings the real meaning of Christmas to everyone. The Church is entirely lit by candles and the enchanting atmosphere has to be one of those special Christmas experiences to enjoy. The first Carols by Candlelight was held on Christmas Eve 1938, when Melbourne hosted its very first Carols by Candlelight when approximately 10,000 people came together at midnight at Alexandra Gardens to sing carols, backed by a small choir, two soloists and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Carols by Candlelight began as the concept of Norman Banks MBE, a veteran of radio. On Christmas Eve in 1937, he noticed an elderly woman sitting by her window, her face lit only by a candle. Next to her was a radio and she was singing along to the Christmas carol, Away in a Manger. It was at this moment that Norman Banks was inspired to create a gathering of people to sing Carols by Candlelight.
We do hope you can join us for this for our very special gathering.
Christingle Service – Christmas Eve
We will be holding a Christingle service on Christmas Eve at 5pm at Holy Cross Church Caston. A service for all generations on this very special day and we look forward to welcoming you all.
The custom of the Christingle began in the Moravian Church and was first used as part of a Christmas Children’s Festival in the Marienborn Congregation in Germany on the 24th December 1747.
One story told about the origins of Christingle is this:
Many years ago, children were asked to take a gift to put beside the crib in church. One family had no money for gifts but were determined to take something. They found an orange which they felt would be suitable, but were disappointed to find it was going mouldy at the top. However, they thought they would scoop out the bad bits and put a candle in the top and turn it into a lantern. Thinking that it looked a bit ordinary, one of the girls took a red ribbon from her hair and tied it around the middle. They had difficulty getting it to stay in place, so they fastened it with four small sticks, on the ends of which they put a few raisins. They took their lanterns to church and were afraid of the reactions of the other children. However, the priest acknowledged their gift and told the congregation how special it was for the following reasons:
- 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 and nuts (or sometimes sweets!) represent the fruits of the earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain.