On occasion I have an opportunity to reflect on the way things once were, in my personal life, relating to my career and as a member of St. Barnabas. This is especially true during the holidays. It is a sentimental time and I am a very sentimental person. For the past few years Shirley McMichen, Carol Berger and I
have had the honor of decorating the Chrismon tree for the narthex. Having a chance to handle those beautiful
ornaments once a year is very special, it always brings tears to my eyes. I think of the ladies, still here, and those
no longer with us who put so much time, effort and love into the
fabrication. Each one is a work of
art. This tree is one of the many beautiful
things belonging to St. Barnabas that we take for granted and one of our very
special treasures. This past Wednesday, Mickey Gallagher telephoned to see if
someone would be at church because she wanted to come by to see the Chrismon
Tree. She was on her way to an annual
luncheon with the ladies from other churches who worked together faithfully
once a week for seven years to make these treasures. Some, including Joyce
Bragg worked on them for a year or so.
Others, including Carol Berger worked on them at home. If I am omitting someone, forgive me. Each ornament is a Christian symbol. In the future we will do an article on the
significance of each; however, today, I am focusing on our particular
collection. Here is a little history: it seems Louise Latham saw these
ornaments and suggested to Joyce Mewborn, Mickey Gallagher, Connie Hunt, Pat
Van Stavern (these are the seven year members of the group), and others, that
it would be nice to learn how to make them.
They met with ladies from Seventh Street Christian Church, who had the
patterns. These ladies taught our ladies
to craft them. It takes approximately
six hours to make one ornament, some of the more detailed, a little
longer. Of course, they started with the
most simple and as they became more proficient, they added the more
detailed. We have one 3-D dove on the tree. Mickey said Joyce Mewborn was the only one
with the skill and patience to make this.
She said the hardest one she crafted was the St. Barnabas Cross. It had been her intention to make one for
each of her children; however, after completing one, she decided that was
enough! Once our ladies became
“experts”, they taught members of St. John’s, Chester, to craft the
ornaments. As you pass the tree, take a
little time to stop and reflect on all the work and love that went into each
ornament and think of the wonderful ladies who gave so much of their time to
craft them. Blessings, Jackie
Degge Taken from the St. Barnabas Spirit Nov-Dec. 2010
The Story of Chrismon Ornaments
Chrismons are Christmas decorations with Christian symbols on them. They help Christians to remember that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birthday. They are often used on Christmas Trees in Churches and Christians homes.
They were first made by Frances Kipps Spencer at the Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia, USA. She also thought of the word Chrismon, which is a combination of Christ and monogram (meaning symbol). The ide quickly spread to other churches. It is traditional that Christian groups make their favorite symbols on their own Chrismons.
Chrismons are traditionally colored white and gold. White is the liturgical (or Church) color for Christmas and symbolizes that Jesus was pure and perfect. Gold symbolizes His majesty and glory. Chrismons can be made from nearly anything, but paper and embroidered ones are the most widely used