The Chrismon Tree: The Weary World Rejoices

December 30, 2021
Susan Fendley

Central’s Chrismon Tree began in 1977, when the women of the church made the first ornaments for our church tree. The number of Christian Christmas symbols on our tree has grown each year until we now have over one hundred.

Our Chrismons are made in white, the liturgical color of Christmas, which refers to Christ’s purity and perfection, and gold, which refers to his majesty and glory. Tiny white lights on the tree point to Christ as the Light of the world. These are placed on the evergreen that symbolizes the eternal life Christ has won for us.

Our tree is decorated early in December and placed at the front of the sanctuary. It is a symbol, or out-ward sign, of what Christmas really is.

The word Chrismon (Kris-mon) comes from “Christ+monogram,” meaning a monogram of our Lord. The first Christians used Chrismons, like the fish, to recognize each other and to avoid their enemies. Christian symbols have been found on ancient jewelry, kitchen utensils, doors of buildings, in catacombs, and in early Christian cemeteries. Their use reached its height in the Middle Ages.

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