The Chrismon Tree
The word “Chrismon” is the combination of parts of two words – Christ and monogram. A Chrismon is just that, a monogram of Christ. The Crimsons proclaim the name, the life and the saving acts of Jesus the Christ. Early Christians used monograms to identify themselves to each other and to transmit their faith and beliefs to others.
Chrismons were developed to be displayed in churches rather than the secular Christmas trees with shiny balls and tinsel. Chrismons point the viewer to Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. All Chrismons are made in combinations of white (which refers to our Lord’s innocence, purity and perfection) and gold (which refers to His majesty and glory. Tiny white lights on the tree point to the Christ as the Light of the word.
Decorating the Tree
The tree is made up of Christ monograms made by members of the church. Lights on the tree are white. There are no garlands or tinsel. The Chrismons are the only ornaments on the tree. The only Chrismons that have a rule of placement is the crown of thorns and crown of righteousness. The crown of thorns is placed directly under the kingly crown to symbolize Christ’s victory over death and His seat on the throne of righteousness. All other Chrismons may be placed in any order.
The Meaning of the Chrismon Symbols
Alpha and Omega – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
Chi Rho – In Greek, Chi (which is like our X) is the first letter of the word for Christ. The first two letters of the Greek word Christos or in English, Christ. It also refers to the Latin, Christus Rex, Christ the King.
Cross inside Eternity Circle – This cross, placed inside a large circle, represents Jesus crucifixion and resurrection as being the central saving act by God for the entire world.
Crown and Cross – The cross serves to remind us of Christ’s death and the crown symbolizes the rewards of the faithful in life after death Rev 2:10
Crown of Righteousness – It symbolizes Jesus as King of the Jews, in fulfillment of prophetic expectation, as well as Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 1 Timothy 6:15, Rev 12:14; Romans 8:34
Crown of Thorns - “And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him John19: 2 This ornament is placed directly under the crown of righteousness to remind us of Christ’s victory over death and He sits on the throne of righteousness.
The Cup or Chalice - . 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.
Descending Dove - is the symbol of peace and the Holy Spirit. It is shown pointing down to represent the Holy Spirit that appeared as a Dove when Jesus was baptized.
Dove with Olive Branch – In the story of the flood, the dove, sent from the ark by Noah, brought back an olive branch to show the waters had receded and that God had made peace with man. Genesis 8. When Jesus was baptized, John said “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.” John 1:32 Christ is the Prince of Peace.
Lamb and the Cross – “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29 “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing’.” Revelation 5:12 Jesus was the sacrificial lamb.
Fish - The fish is a popular symbol of Christianity today. It was a secret symbol used by the early persecuted Christians to signify their belief in Jesus. The Greek letters spelling fish are also an acrostic for the word “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”
Five pointed Star – Also, known as the Epiphany Star is a symbol of the birth and adolescence of Jesus. The five points also represent the wounds of Christ.
Manger – “They laid him in a manager, because there was not room for him in the inn.” Luke 2:7
PAX - Peace, in Latin. Representing the hope for peace in this world.
The Triquetra - Sometimes known as the Celtic trinity knot. It represents the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.