Christmas came back! On a bright February morning in the basement of St. James Trinity, women gather to provide some well-needed repairs to the Chrismon decorations that adorn the sanctuary’s trees during the liturgical Christmas season.
A Chrismon (CHRISt + MONogram) is a monogram of Christ. Some Chrismon decorations are simple representations of Christian symbols from the early days. Others represent newer ideas of God’s presence in our current world. They originated in a church in Virginia in 1957 and quickly spread to churches all across the world.
The basic structure of a Chrismon is Styrofoam. Elements of Chrismons include colors (usually gold and silver), crosses, earth, body, heavens, plants, numbers, letters and words. The basic Styrofoam structure is adorned with sequins, beads, glitter, mesh and ribbon. The components are tediously glued and pinned together by the loving hands of church women.
The round Chrismon (pictured) has six elements: the “X” monogram to represent Christ; the sign of the cross; a butterfly to represent resurrection; a circle for eternity; four earth clusters; and three balls to denote the Holy Trinity. This Chrismon, like the others, was made in Fall Creek in the mid 1970’s and has hung on a sanctuary tree every year since.
In January, when the Christmas trees are taken down, the Chrismons are one again stowed away. This is the second time, since their creation about 40 years ago, that they have needed freshening up. Clearly decades of loving care have kept them beautiful. They are a cherished tradition in this church and around the world.
For more information about Chrismons, visit the St. James Trinity library:
“Chrismons” (1970), The Ascension Lutheran Church of Danville, Virginia. (Fifth Printing).
“Chrismons Basic Series” (1972), The Ascension Lutheran Church of Danville, Virginia, (Fourth Printing).
“Chrismons Basic Series” ((1967), The Ascension Lutheran Church of Danville, Virginia, (Third Printing).