In 1956 Frances Kipps Spencer volunteered to decorate a tree at The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Danville, VA. While searching for a way to truly express and honor the glory of The Lord she discovered some drawings of chrisma that she adapted for use as ornaments.

According to Ms Spencer, in her book Chrismons Basic Series, Womack Press, Danville, VA, a chrismon (chrisma pl.) is a monogram for Christ.  The word chrismon is a combination of the two words CHRISt MONogram. Many of the descriptions given here are quotations from Ms Spencer’s book.

Each chrismon is, in some way, either a true monogram for Christ or a symbol of, or for, The Lord. The chrismons on the Holy Spirit tree were made by several members according to Ms Spencer’s directions.

Chrismons Explained

Cross and Chi

This symbol combines the cross with the Greek letter Chi which is the monogram for Christ.

Crown

The crown represents the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Host & Cup

The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed for our sin.

Triquetra

Three equal arcs combine to form a unified shape, a symbol of the triune God who reveals Himself to man in three separate yet unified persons.

Chi Rho

Chi and Rho are the first letters in the Greek name for CHRist. They may also represent the Latin phrase Christus Rex for "Christ the King.

Epiphany Star

This five point star was guide to the Wise Men seeking the birth of a new King.

Iota Chi

Iota is the first letter of our Lord's given name, Jesus, in Greek. Chi is the first letter in the Greek word for his title, Christ.

Anchor Cross

Also known as the Cross of Hope, this symbol marks the hope of the world. The cross rises from a crescent moon which is a symbol for the mother of our Lord.

Greek Cross Crowned

This balanced cross with all extensions equal was favored by Greek artists. This cross is crowned indicating His royal position at the right hand of the Father.

Baptismal Star

This pre-Christian symbol was drawn in a single stroke without lifting the tool from the surface. To Christians persecuted by Roman domination, this symbol surreptitiously contained the Cross and the monograms Chi, and Rho. To modern Christians is symbolizes rebirth through baptisim.

Fish

One of the most ancient symbols for our Lord, the Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΫC forms an acrostic on the first letters of, "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior."

Chi in Eternity

Chi is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. The circle represents eternity; God the only eternal One, or eternal life with God.

Entwined Circles

Circles always portray perfection and eternity. These three are intertwined to symbolize our triune God, “ever three and ever one; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Passion Cross

This pointed cross, also called the Cross of Suffering, reminds us of the points of the nails, spear, and thorns that were used to torture our Lord.

Chi Rho on Cross Plaque

Chi and Rho are the first letters in the Greek name for CHRist. They may also represent the Latin phrase Christus Rex for "Christ the King.

Passion Cross and Cup

The cup symbolizes the cup of His blood shed for our sins.

Latin Cross with Base

This Latin Cross (an extension above the horizontal and longer base extension) is the most familiar to us. The base upon which the cross stands elevates and venerates this symbol.

Cross in Glory

The rising sun behind this Easter cross suggests the new day when He conquered death by His Resurrection.

Dove and Host

The descending dove is, of course, the symbol for the Holy Spirit which descends from heaven to the earth. The Host represents “the body of Christ which was broken for us.”

Chi

Chi is the first letter in the Greek word for CHrist. The circle represents eternity; God the only eternal One, or eternal life with God.

Jerusalem Cross

Four Tau Crosses meet to form this cross. Tau Crosses indicate, “Salvation promised but not yet accomplished.” The five intersections remind one of the five wounds of Christ.

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