Roser Chrismon trees reveal and revel in troubled Christian history

HERALD STAFF REPORTDecember 21, 2013 

Chrismon symbols include the Latin cross; Greek cross, cross and globe for world united in Christ, tau cross representing staff by which God saved Israel, cross crowned for Christ's crown of glory, a lily for the resurrection, a rose for Christ, a palm for Christ's triumphant ride into Jerusalem, wheat and grapes representing the body and blood of Christ, crown of thorns for our Savior's suffering and lily of the valley for Christ's humility. Symbolic creatures: Fish were an ancient secret sign, butterfly signified resurrection, dove the Holy Spirit, lamb for Christ, scallop shell for baptism, pearl for word of God, triangle for the Holy Trinity and orb representing the Earth and various monograms of Christ.PHOTO PROVIDED

ANNA MARIA -- At Roser Community Church, Chrismon trees adorn the Narthex, not Christmas trees.

The Chrismon term is a combination of Christ and monogram.

Early Christians used symbols of their faith at a time when it was dangerous to be a Christian.

Contemporary use of Chrismons as the sole ornaments for the tree began in a little Lutheran Church in Virginia in an answer to Mrs. Frances Spencer's prayer that Christ the Lord might be glorified in the Christmas decorations of her church. The year was 1957 and the use of Chrismons rapidly spread to churches around the world.

White is the liturgical color for Christmas and refers to our Lord's purity and perfection. Gold refers to His Majesty and Glory.

The beautiful and meaningful Chrismons on the trees are made by the ladies of the Roser Guild as a reminder of the majesty and glory of God's gift of his Son. Each ornament has spiritual significance.

Opportunities to view the Chrismon Trees up close at Roser Community Church:

• 10 a.m. Sunday with harpist Cheryl Losey from the Sarasota Orchestra. Nurseries available.

• 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve for family candlelight celebration featuring a Nativity Pageant telling the Christmas story. Music by Joyful Noise -- a children's choir, soloists, and ensembles. The 9 p.m. candlelight service will feature music by the Chancel Choir, soloists and ensembles and a special message titled "Your Savior has Come!"

• 10 a.m. Christmas Communion Service in the Roser Memorial Chapel.

• 10 a.m. Dec. 29 service of lessons and carols originating from Truro Cathedral and made famous by King's College, Cambridge. Readings and hymns reveals Christmas narrative through poetry and prose. Nurseries available.

• 10 a.m. to noon New Year's Day Roser Memorial Chapel will be open for prayer and communion.

Roser Church is near the Anna Maria City Pier at 512 Pine Ave.

Information: 941-778-0414, email info@roserchurch.com, go to roserchurch.com.

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