WINNIPEG – Many years ago Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) contacted its congregations across the nation, inviting them to send chrismons to decorate the national office’s Christmas tree. And congregations responded, sending more than enough decorations to grace synod’s office every Christmas season.
While those who produced these chrismons have probably long since forgotten they ever did, LCC staff continue to pull them out every year. President Emeritus Ralph Mayan, while he was in office, used to decorate the tree himself, taking time to pray over each congregation as he placed their ornament on the tree.
Today that tradition continues in a new form. The tree goes up at the beginning of Advent but the decorations are left off, to be added by staff members over the days to come. During the office’s daily devotions, staff members each take up one of the chrismons and pray for the congregation that produced it. This continues every work day until all the chrismons are placed on the tree.
“The prayers we offer for LCC congregations at Christmas mirrors the prayers we offer up during the rest of the year,” said President Robert Bugbee. “Every day in our office devotions, we remember one of our congregations in prayer, asking God to bless their ministry and outreach.”
“God bless each of you this Christmas season,” he continued. “May the Good News of Jesus Christ be a source of comfort to you all—comfort that you share with friends and family.”
What are chrismons? Chrismons are symbols for Christ and the Christian story. Since the 1950s, many Lutheran churches (and now churches of other traditions) have celebrated the birth of Christ by decorating Christmas trees with chrismons.