On Sunday 16th December Omagh Methodist Church continued its celebration of Advent with a Christingle Service in the morning at 11.30 am and a candlelit Carol Service in the evening at 7.00 pm. The morning service was led by the Sunday School with the younger children proudly displaying the Cristingles which they had made. Older members of the class read poems, passages from Holy Scripture and led the congregation in prayer. Rev Eleanor in her address explained that there were varying accounts of how the first Christingle was made. Her favourite version of the story comes from Czechoslovakia and the challenge which a very poor family had in bringing a gift to Church at Christmas. In desperation they took an over-ripe orange, hollowed out the bad bits, stuck a candle in the hole, wrapped a piece of red ribbon round it and finished it off with raisins on 4 twigs pushed into the rind.
In the Church the Priest was delighted with the gift, explaining that the orange represented the world, that the candle represented Jesus Christ, as the Light of the World, that the red ribbon represented the redeeming blood of Christ and that the twigs with dried fruit represented the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. Today at Christmas time over 6,000 Christingle services are held in Churches throughout Great Britain and Ireland and many more across Europe.