Chrismons

Ancient Christian Symbols as
Christmas Ornaments and *Chrismons

Download the graphics on this web site to use as patterns.  Please do not ask me to mail them to you.  Email me if you have any problems doing this -- donelson@umcs.org  


*Ascension Lutheran Church, Danville, VA,   holds the copyright on the word "Chrismons".  It was given to them by Mrs. Frances Spencer, who originated the concept and brought it to fruition in that church in 1957.  Please note that this web site (www.umcs.org) is not related to the one at the Ascension Lutheran Church of Danville, VA in any way.  Their web site has books and DVDs for sale about Chrismons.  I suggest you go there for the first and last word on Chrismons, including how to place them on a tree, and much, much more.

Chrismons may never be made for profit.   Hence, you should not find commercially made Chrismons or kits to make them.  

WHAT'S A CHRISMON?
Chrismons are a type of Christmas Tree decoration used in many churches and often in the homes of Christians.  The symbols used represent a variety of biblical and theological concepts that are well known among most believers.  Often, if the ornaments on a Christmas tree are comprised mostly of Christian symbols, the tree is known as a "Chrismon Tree."  Chrismons are white with gold decorations of beads, ribbon, glitter, etc.  It is common, however, to see these ancient Christian designs in other colors than white and gold.  These would not be Chrismons, however, but simply Christian symbols -- and there's nothing wrong with that!

THE PURPOSE:  A WONDERFUL CHURCH FELLOWSHIP AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION PROJECT!
Gather your church group together, study what these symbols mean, and make a collection of them as ornaments for your church and hang them on a tree!  The idea is to have fellowship and learn, as much as it is to create something beautiful for your church.  Use these symbols to create needlepoint or posters or wall hangings, as well.  Incorporate them into church art!  Be creative!  But, please don't skip the process of making them, yourself, as this would defeat the purpose!

Click on the following links to download these symbols as patterns:

This is a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
The fish are an ancient symbol for Christ, the Greek word for "Fish" forming an acrostic that spells out "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."

   
The Eight Pointed Star is a symbol of regeneration and baptism.  This symbolism is enhanced by the golden orbs, also symbols of the world.  This symbol reminds us that Christ came to save the world.  Did you know that you can make an eight pointed star without taking your pencil off the paper?
   
In the book of Luke we read the story
of how the angels went to simple shepherds to tell them the news of the Savior's birth. "Glory to God in the Highest!" they sang. Angel symbols reminds us that the Gospel is for us and for all.
This one is complex, having several symbols.  The circles represent the earth.  The cross represents Christ's death. The butterfly represents the resurrection. The story told here is that Christ came to save the world by his death and resurrection. We have eternal life through him.   
   
The Celtic Cross is a cross used by Christians of The British Isles for many years.  The orb in the center represents the Rising Sun, representative of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose from the dead. The arms of the cross are rays of light shining forth from the sun.  This reminds us that Christ is the
Light of the world.
   
This cross, also a Celtic Cross, is a bit more ornamental.  Nevertheless, it means about the same thing as the cross, above and is a commonly seen symbol.
   
This is another complex symbol. The "X"and "P" is the Greek letter "Chi" and "Rho" superimposed. They are the first two letters in the name "Christ" spelled in Greek (Xpistos). The "A" and upsidedown "U" are the Greek letters, "Alpha" and "Omega," the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.  Together they represent Jesus' words: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

 

MORE!
Click Here for fifty Christian Symbols
with explanations


Chrismon Tree at St. James UMC
of Pontiac, Michigan.

If you have questions, email me at the following:  donelson@umcs.org

Return to www.umcs.org Main Page


*Ascension Lutheran Church, Danville, VA,   holds the copyright on the word "Chrismons".  It was given to them by Mrs. Frances Spencer, who originated the concept and brought it to fruition in that church in 1957.  Please note that this web site (www.umcs.org) is not related to the one at the Ascension Lutheran Church of Danville, VA in any way.  Their web site has wonderful books and DVDs for sale about Chrismons.  I suggest you go there for the first and last word on Chrismons.