Chrismon: A New Canterbury Tradition

Parent volunteers had a vision for the Christmas tree in Phillips Chapel, and they have made that vision a reality for the second year in a row. Throughout the season of Advent, the tree will be adorned with chrisma handmade by students in 4th through 8th grade.

Chrismon comes from the Latin term meaning “monogram of Christ.” The plural is chrisma. Christian churches of various denominations will decorate trees in their sanctuaries featuring chrisma and white lights.

5th graders put together their chrismons.

5th graders put together their chrismons.

This year’s chrismon is the Greek cross made using wire, white and gold beads, and a lot of parental guidance. Each student receives a starter kit with the supplies, and parents are on hand to help with the creation of the chrismon.

Last year was the first time Canterbury students made chrisma for the Phillips Chapel tree under the guidance of Amy Kreimer, Alison Dodge, and Marty Keeton. A new Canterbury tradition was born! The goal is for students to make a new chrismon each year based on a different pattern.

“I hope it will continue for years to come,” Marty says.

This initiative is now led by the Altar Guild committee of the CPA. The chairs of the Altar Guild this year are Leigh Jones, Marty Keeton, and Becky Clodfelter. In addition to chrisma, Altar Guild is in charge of the holiday flower sale (a CPA fundraiser) and the annual greening of the chapel. Parents are encouraged to come the Sunday after Thanksgiving to help put fresh greenery cuttings in the chapel. The best cuttings are holly, nandina, magnolia, and evergreen branches of all kinds. Please come, bring whatever you have in your yard, and enjoy getting in the spirit with fellow parents.

Want to go to the annual greening of the chapel? Drop by on Sunday, Nov. 30th in Phillips Chapel from 2:30-5pm. 


by Kelly McKee

mckee Kelly McKee is a freelance writer and community volunteer. She has three daughters and a very high golf handicap (these two facts are not unrelated).