The Sanctuary has been decorated for the Advent and Christmas season. This is a long held tradition to mark the beginning of Advent as we wait for the day of Jesus' birth.

Not only do the decorations make the sanctuary look festive and beautiful, it is hoped they add to your worship enjoyment. Each decoration has symbolism but none more than the Chrismon Tree. 

Especially revered are the hand made Chrismons you'll find on the tree. These have been lovingly crafted by women of the church more than 30 years ago and have been used each year since. They look as lovely today as the day they were first made.

You are encouraged to go up to the tree and look at all the lovely Chrismons so you can see the beauty in each one personally.

But what are they and what do they mean? 

The first Chrismons are credited to the Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia, in 1957 by Mrs. Frances Kipps Spencer, a church member. Chrismon™ is a registered trademark of Ascension Lutheran Church, Danville VA.The word Chrismon is derived from two words, Christ and monogram, and are made in a combination of white (or silver) and gold to symbolize the purity and majesty of the Son of God and the Son of Man. Many of the symbols come from Christian history and were used by the early Church while others were developed throughout the centuries as expressions of Christian faith, but all serve to point us toward the glory of God.

Here is a list of the symbols and their meaning. It is suggested you print this list and take it with you the next time you are in the sanctuary. Go up to the tree and admire the beautiful bead work and stitching as you imagine the hands that made each one.


Chrismon™ Symbols and Their Meaning

 Not all symbols are used but how many can you find on the St. Paul Chrismon Tree? 


Alpha & Omega – Jesus is first and last.

Angel - Portrays the spirits God created to praise and serve him. An angel told of the birth, resurrection and ascension of Christ.

Bell - The bell is a later western symbol that arose from church bells calling people to worship.  It represents the proclamation of the Gospel to the world.

Bible - A symbol of the Bible and the word of God spoken through Scripture. The open Bible symbolizes the truth and revelation of God.

Butterfly - The symbol of new life and resurrection.

Chalice – The symbol for faith or worship and Holy Communion.

Circle – The symbol for eternity, without beginning and without end. It is used in much Christian art for this purpose. The significance of eternity is why Advent Wreaths are made in circles. In church art, whenever you see a circle, it should remind you or eternity.

Tirquetra - Another Trinitarian symbol pointing to the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Also known as a "trinity knot" when parallel doubled-lines are in the graph, the design is used as a religious symbol.

Triangle - Represents the three persons of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Cross and Crown - Together signifies that all who bear their crosses as followers of Christ will receive the crown of glory in the life to come.

Crown – The symbol of the kingship of Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Descending Dove – The symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Dove – The symbol of peace.

Eight-pointed Star – The symbol of spiritual regeneration, often associated with the Beatitudes.

Five-pointed Star - Derived from a Greek work meaning appearance or revelation is used as a symbol for Epiphany.

Evergreen tree - The symbol for eternal life.

Fish - An early symbol of Christians.

ICHTHUS – The Greek word for fish is an acronym, meaning each of the letters is the first letter of the phrase. In Greek, this would be ihsuz, cristoz, qewz, uioz, soter — “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior.”

IXPOYC - Often used with the fish symbol, the Greek letters stand for Jesus - Christ - God - Son – Savior.

Gold - The color gold is a symbol of majesty and glory.

IHC or IHS - A Greek abbreviation for the name Jesus.

Lamb - Jesus is the Lamb of God, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Latin Cross - A symbol of Jesus representing the kind of Cross on which he died, the emptiness stands for his resurrection.

Lights - Reminds us that Christ is the light of the world.

Manger - Symbolizes the manger in which Mary placed the baby Jesus.

Rose - A symbol of the Messianic promise. The most popular symbolism is that of the Nativity. Isaiah’s prophecy was that one day “the desert would blossom as the rose.” This prophecy was fulfilled when a virgin conceived and bore a son and called His name Jesus.

Shamrock - The three leaves of the shamrock, or clover, stands for the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Shell -Symbol for baptism.

White/Silver - The color white or silver is a symbol of purity and perfection.

XP Chi Rho - Ancient Greek monogram for Christ.


New banners adorn the front of the church this year. They were made by Joyce Kirkpatrick who says she was inspired when she saw the center designs on a web site. She took the designs that were initally made as stand alone wall hangings and then using the colors of gold and white added the inner and outer borders to make them larger. She then completed the banners by machine embroidering the words, free-motion quilting each one and adding a fringe embellishment at the bottom. The photos do not pick up the glitter and sparkle of the fabrics or other embellishments and are best seen by the naked eye.


The beautiful poinsettias are another Christmas tradition that add to the beauty of the Sanctuary. Many of the poinsettias are given in memory of a loved one.