The word ‘Chrismon’ is made from two
words, CHRISt and MONograms. They are monograms and symbols of
Christ. I use these symbols and monograms to help youth make a
spiritual connection and relationship with God.
Symbols are signs, pictures or things we can see which help
bring to mind a being or an ideal we cannot see. James Horath,
the composer said, “Pyramids and other symbols are humankind’s
way of reaching up to God.” Dr. Laura Artress in Walking the
Sacred Path says, “Symbols are the mind’s way of reaching
the soul.” I use symbols as a means of helping the young
person (and all of us) reach, touch or speak to God.
CHRISMONS are such symbols. They come from the life of Jesus
Christ and as we work on them or gaze on them we take the
stories into ourselves to reach our soul, to reach God.
CHRISMONS were created by Francis K. Spencer and she has given
all rights to the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Danville,
Virginia. The church owns the trademark and the copyrights.
Please check their web site:
They have several books available to learn much more than can be
CHRISMONS are exquisite. They are created with beads and made
with the colors gold and white, the colors of Christmas.
Wanting to use these to help young people know the history of
these symbols, the history of Jesus Christ and to touch their
soul I was inspired by the ‘How to Substitute section in the
first book, Chrismons, Basic Series. on page 36.
Styrofoam was suggested. I used the patterns and started
slowly with those Chrismons that would be easy to decorate and
the reason for the symbol would be easy to remember. The reason
for the use of gold and white was taught and no deviations were
year in the Advent workshop I introduce a new one and have
available the cut-out Styrofoam ones from years past for new
students. I keep track of which ones the youth have made and I
encourage the youth to keep them from Christmas to Christmas.
If Vacation Bible School studies include a symbol then these
will be made during VBS and saved, labeled and given to the
child at Christmas. i.e. The Star of David. A baptism in the
congregation was remembered with the baptism Chrismon. Most
Chrismons have two sizes from which to choose, a larger size and
a smaller size. I suggest that the larger size could be hung in
a window to say, “A Christian who believes in Jesus Christ lives
here.” The smaller size looks nice on the Christmas tree.
A bulletin board
helps with the learning process
and gives ideas for
THE EPIPHANY ROSE AND STAR
The rose can symbolize our Lord, His Mother, or His nativity.
Because it refers to His birth, when He took on our
it especially symbolizes His human nature.
The star points to His divinity.
“Epiphany” is from a Greek word meaning the
revelation of a god.
The Epiphany Star has 5 points and refers
to the revelation or showing of Jesus as the Son of
A combination of the rose and the 5-pointed star in
shows the two natures of the Christ: He is true God
and true Man.
THE STYLIZED FISH
The early Christians used the fish as a secret
During the times of the persecution of the early
Christians could find one another by using this
To the outsider, the fish was a mere decoration.
To the Christian it held deep significance.
In the catacombs, fish were drawn on the walls
to direct worshipers to meeting places.
Think of all the stories in the teachings and
stories of Jesus
that include fish.
In 1963, a news story reported that Cuban
when they found themselves in a situation similar
to that faced
by the first Christians, revived the use of
Many times the fish is decorated with the ICHTHUS
is the Greek word for fish. These letters form an acrostic
(I) Christ (X), God’s (O) Son (Y), Saviour (C).
One of the best known symbols is the Chi-Rho.
It is the first two letters of the Greek word
– in English,
It is the oldest monogram for Christ and was
commonly used by
It very well may be older than the cross as a symbol
(For the early church it was painful to
use the cross as a symbol.
It stood for shame and death.)
Chi = X Rho = P
No one really knows the shape of the cross on which
however, the church uses this form, the Latin Cross.
Sometimes it is called the ‘Passion’ Cross.
The Cross was NOT one of the earliest
In the beginning the cross was a symbol of shame,
of disgrace for the worst kind of criminal, a
THE BAPTISMAL SHELL
In ancient paintings John the Baptist is shown
on Jesus’ head from a large shell. A scallop shell
Pilgrims used these shells as utensils.
The three drops of water in this symbol represent
Son and Holy
8 POINTED CONCEALED STAR
The 8-pointed star is a pre-Christian figure.
It is drawn without removing the tool from the
surface and was
Christians as a “concealed” Chrismon during the
In the crossing lines, Chi’s (X) and crosses were
visible to believers.
Remember it wasn’t always easy to be a Christian,
even in name.
In Christian symbolism, the 8-pointed star
refers to our higher spiritual nature through Holy
THE STAR OF DAVID
THE JESSE TREE STAR
THE CREATION STAR
THE TRINITY STAR
This star is composed of two triangles, with each point
representing one of the days of creation by God. In a
single triangle each point represents one of the three
persons in the Godhead: Father, Son, Holy Spirit or
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Some have used the six
points of the star to refer to six attributes of God:
power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy, and justice.
TRIANGLE AND TREFOIL
The triangle and the trefoil are two symbols for the
The triangle, one of the oldest and most common symbols for
the Triune, has three distinct parts united into perfect whole
The trefoil, also of three equal parts, is a modification of
three interlaced circles which suggests the eternal nature
of the three Persons.