Chrismons Adorn Piedmont Crossing

December 18, 2018

Residents at Piedmont Crossing have been busily making special Chrismons for the Unity Place tree.  The Christmas tree is filled with beautiful handmade ornaments by Jackie Baxley, Dot Elliott, Joanne McLendon, Jane Rierson, Polly Russell and Connie Tilley.  The ladies have been handcrafting the beautiful ornaments since July.

Over the years, the Christmas tree has become a symbol of Christ as the "tree of life." Through the birth of Jesus, believers have been given God's gifts of life, light and wisdom.

The use of Chrismons to decorate Christmas trees is popular in many churches today. Chrismons were first developed in 1957 by Frances Kipps Spencer of Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Va. In an effort to create appropriate decorations for her church Christmas tree, Spencer fashioned centuries-old symbols into white and gold tree decorations.

"Chrismon" is a combination of the words "Christ" and "monogram," and means "symbols of Christ." Chrismons are gold and white, representing majesty and purity. Ideas for fashioning them are developed from early Christian symbols, the Bible and church histories.

Although Chrismons have been used in the United States since 1957, many symbols of Christianity have come down to us through the ages. Symbols that signified the believers' faith often adorned doors and buildings, and were included on items such as jewelry and household utensils.

Listed below are a few of the designs and their symbolic significance.

- Alpha and Omega: The first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet are used in this Chrismon to signify that Christ is the beginning and ending of all things. This is mentioned in the Bible in Revelation 1:8.

- Anchor cross: The anchor cross originated in ancient Egypt and was adapted by the early Christians in the catacombs.

- Bell: A bell is often used to call people to worship. This Chrismon symbolizes the sounding forth of God's word and serves as a reminder that God should have first priority in our lives.

- Bible: This Chrismon is a replica of an open Bible, which represents the word of God.

- Budded cross: The Budded Cross is symbolic of the young Christian who has just begun serving Christ. Like a bud, young believers are considered "immature Christians."

- Burning torch: This symbol reminds Christians to be witnesses for Christ.

- Butterfly: The butterfly is a symbol of Christ's resurrection and eternal life. Just as the butterfly emerges from its cocoon and flies upward with a new body, the followers of Jesus Christ are reborn and given a new life.

- Cup: The cup is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed on the cross for our sins. The cup also reminds us of the sacrament of Holy Communion.

- Chi Rho: The Chi Rho Chrismon is a monogram of the first two letters of the Greek word from Christ - Chi (X) and Rho (P).

- Christmas rose: The Christmas rose is a white, hardy rose that blooms at Christmastime. It is symbolic of the messianic prophecy and the nativity.

- Circle and triangle: This Chrismon combines a circle and a triangle to form a unique symbol of the eternity of the Trinity.

- Cross and crown: The cross and crown symbolizes a Christian's reward in heaven for being a faithful servant while living on earth. See Revelation 2:10.

- Cross pattee: This form of the cross resembles a Maltese cross and is often used for decorative purposes.

- Daisy: Toward the end of the 15th century, the daisy became a popular symbol for the innocence of the Holy Child.

- Lamp: The lamp stands for the word of God. See Psalm 119:105.

- Manger: The manger reminds us to be humble, and represents the simplicity of the birth and life of Jesus.

- Shamrock: The three leaves of the shamrock, or clover, stands for the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

- Shell with drops of water: This Chrismon is symbolic of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.

- Trumpet: The trumpet signifies a call to worship, the day of resurrection and the Day of Judgment.

Excerpts: The Chrismon Story taken from TheTandD.com