When I was young one of the things I looked forward to each holiday season was our church's Chrismon Tree. It was a beautiful tree, towering about 15 foot tall, covered with white and gold ornaments and lit brightly with white twinkling lights. Each year the tree would be on display inside the main sanctuary for the Advent season but without a doubt one of my favorite memories was seeing it glowing bright one last time during our Christmas Eve Candlelight services.
|Foam Chrismons make for a great 3 dimensional look|
While it would be hard to list all of the ornaments, there are many books as well as guides online that can help you visualize each of the various ornaments. However, here are a few of them as well as what they represent.
|The Alpha and Omega|
The Alpha and Omega represents Christ who said “I am the beginning and the end, the first and the last”
The Triangle – represents the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Three Intertwining Circles – the eternal quality of the Trinity with no beginning or end.
The Latin Cross – represents the cross that Jesus was crucified on.
The Calvary Cross – represents the Latin Cross standing on a three step platform. The three steps represent Faith, Hope and Love.
The Cross Crosslet – Representing the spreading of Christianity to the four corners of the world.
The Anchor Cross – represents a time when Christians were prosecuted for their faith and used this symbol to avoid persecution.
|The Kingly Crown|
The Cup – represents Christ's suffering as referred to in Matthew 26:39 “If possible let this cup pass from me”
The Kingly Crown – The kingship of Christ and his victory over sin and Death – The King of Kings.
The Shell With Drops of Water – symbolizes Baptism.
The Maltese Cross – The eight points symbolize the Beatitudes while the cross itself is an emblem of John the Baptist. It is formed by four spearheads with the points touching the center.
The Trefoil Cross with Dove -Represents a new believer with the dove representing the Holy Spirit
The Sand Dollar - known as the Holy Ghost shell. The markings recall events in the life of Christ.
The Cross and Crown - symbolizes the rewarding life for Christians after the death of the body. And also symbolizes that Jesus is King of Kings.
The Lamb - the symbol of Jesus Christ.
Three Fish United to Form a Circle - reminds us that all three persons of the Trinity contribute to our salvation.
|Triquetra and Circle|
The Son of Righteousness symbolizes that like the sun, Christ the Son of God is the source of light and life to those who believe in Him.
The Triquetra and Circle. The endless circle suggests eternity. The triquetra—the figure composed of three separate and equal arcs— symbolizes the One God who showed himself to man in three separate and distinct persons.
The Angel of God – Symbolizes the angelic announcement of both the birth and the resurrection of Christ.
The Heart – the symbol of charity.
The Butterfly – a symbol of the resurrection and life everlasting for the believer.
The Ship – Symbolic of the Church as it was opposed by persecution in early Christianity
The Christmas Rose – The Nativity of our Lord
The Lyre – represents the joy in praising the Lord.
The Descending Dove – symbolizes the Holy Spirit as it descending upon Jesus
The Ark and the Rainbow – Symbolizes God's promise
Next year, I hope to have a second tree for the inside of our house dedicated solely to the gorgeous Chrismons while the kids have fun learning what each of the beautiful ornaments represent. And maybe they will remember that tree with as much fondness as I still hold towards the one that graces the chapel at First Christian Church in Port Arthur, Texas. If your ever in that area during the holidays, go take a look at it. Maybe you'll be even be tempted to add this tradition to your holidays as well.