First United Presbyterian Church

The Meanings of the Chrismons

Over the course of 2023, a group of women from FUPC met each week to create a new set of Chrismons for the FUPC Chrismon tree. The group included Leslie Johnson, Quetta Wardlow, Janet Clausen, Teresa Weeks, Ginger DeSoto, and Barbara Verdery.

Here are the meanings of the Chrismons:

  1. The Cross:
    • Symbolizes the belief that Jesus Christ died for everyone on a Cross.
  2. The Latin Cross:
    • Also known as the Roman Cross, it has three steps at the base symbolizing faith, hope, and love.
  3. The Irish or Celtic Cross:
    • A normal cross with a circle in the middle, symbolizing eternity.
  4. The Triumphant Cross:
    • Represents the earth with the cross on top, symbolizing Jesus’s triumph over worldly challenges.
  5. The Jerusalem Cross:
    • Worn by crusaders, it can symbolize the Four Gospels, the spread of the Gospel, or the five wounds of Jesus.
  6. The Eastern Cross:
    • Used by many Eastern or Orthodox Churches.
  7. The Furca or Upsilon Cross:
    • Comes from the Greek letter Y, symbolizing the choice between good and evil.
  8. The Anchor:
    • Reminds Christians that Jesus is the anchor of their faith.
  9. The IHS Cross:
    • Features the first three letters of ‘Jesus’ in Greek, representing Jesus and His service.
  10. The Fish:
    • One of the oldest Christian symbols, representing Jesus, Christ, God, Son, and Savior.
  11. The Alpha and Omega:
    • Signifying that Christians believe Jesus is the beginning and end of all things.
  12. The Chi-Rho Cross:
    • Resembles a ‘P’ with an ‘X’ on top, representing the first two letters of ‘Christos’ in Greek.
  13. The Star of David:
    • Signifies that Jesus was a Jew and a descendant of King David.
  14. The Five-Pointed Star:
    • Represents the five wounds of Jesus on the cross.
  15. The Nativity Star:
    • Symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem or Epiphany when the Wisemen visited Jesus.
  16. The Eight-Pointed Star:
    • Represents baptism and regeneration.
  17. The Crown:
    • Symbolizes Jesus as the ruler over heaven and earth.
  18. The Shepherd’s Crook:
    • Remembers that Jesus sometimes called himself a shepherd and can represent the shepherds at Jesus’s birth.
  19. The Triquenta and Trefoil Crosses:
    • Represent the Christian Trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
  20. The Hands in Prayer:
    • Helps Christians remember the importance of prayer.
  21. The Scroll:
    • Represents the Bible.
  22. The Dove Cross:
    • Symbol of peace and the Holy Spirit, pointing down to represent the Holy Spirit at Jesus’s baptism.
  23. The Lamp and Candle Crosses:
    • Represent that Christians believe Jesus is the Light of the World.
  24. The Shell:
    • Symbol for baptism and a sign of pilgrimage.
  25. The Keys:
    • Symbolizes the Church’s role in spreading the message about Jesus.
  26. The Ship:
    • Symbol of the Church sailing towards heaven.
  27. The Cup or Chalice:
    • Symbol of the Mass, Eucharist, or Communion, representing God’s forgiveness.
  28. The Angel:
    • Reminds Christians of the angels announcing Jesus’s birth and can represent the second coming of Jesus.
  29. The Babe/Manger:
    • Represents Jesus as a baby at Christmas.
  30. The Lamb:
    • Symbol for Jesus, also called ‘The Lamb of God.’
  31. The Butterfly Cross:
    • Symbol of transformation and the immortal soul.
  32. The Heart:
    • Symbol of love, reminding Christians that God is love.
  33. The Lion:
    • Symbol for Jesus, sometimes called ‘The Lion of Judah.’
  34. The White Rose:
    • Symbol for purity and can represent Mary.
  35. Photos by Rebecca Haden, music by Isaac Thomas, video by Rosie Haden Chomphosy

© 2024 First United Presbyterian Church – Revs. Jan and Phil Butin, Head of Staff. All rights reserved. Web Design by Haden Interactive.