How to decorate your church sanctuary for Christmas

Written by lisa maire
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How to decorate your church sanctuary for Christmas
Decorating your church's sanctuary for Christmas gets church members and visitors in the mood for the holiday. (Getty Thinkstock)

A church's sanctuary is the area surrounding the altar and tabernacle. Its sacred nature can sometimes make decorating this area for the Christmas season a challenge. Many churches take great pride in their Christmas decorations and use the decor to get members in the Christmas spirit. Make sure to ask the church's pastor what decorations are appropriate for the sanctuary and whether it has any places where decor should not be placed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Christmas trees
  • Christmas lights
  • Christmas ribbon
  • Decorative cloths
  • Clips and fasteners
  • Poinsettias
  • Staging boxes

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  1. 1

    Place live or artificial Christmas trees around the sanctuary. Adorn the trees with decorations such as ornaments made by Sunday school students. If you are going to place lights on the tree, white lights may be the least distracting from the beauty of the sanctuary.

  2. 2

    Place candelabras as you see fit. Candles are traditional decorative items that many church leaders find appropriate. Candelabras can add ambience to a sanctuary.

  3. 3

    Tie large decorative bows in Christmas-themed ribbon. Consult a craft shop or online source for ribbon-tying tips if you are not well versed in tying large bows. Tie the bows to the candelabras or any poles, tables or other structures.

  4. 4

    Set up a nativity scene if the sanctuary has space for it. Many religious shops sell large nativity scenes that are designed for sanctuaries.

  5. 5

    Drape the altar with decorative cloth and table coverings with either a Christmas theme or a pattern in white and gold -- the traditional colours of joy and triumph -- or red and green.

  6. 6

    Place poinsettias around the altar and sanctuary. These traditional Christmas flowers can be put on the floor, on tables or in flower stands. If you want to place poinsettias on the floor, try placing staging boxes on the floor and covering them with decorative fabric to create multiple levels for the poinsettias.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that any clips or fasteners are approved for use and will not cause any damage.
  • If you use a nativity scene, be aware that many churches believe that the baby Jesus should not be in the scene until Christmas Eve.

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