Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old graveyards

In the not so distant past, I didn't like cemeteries. I mean, they just didn't hold much interest for me. I didn't have the time, nor the maturity, to appreciate what they had to offer. To me, they were just places of sorrow.

Lately, however, I can seem to get enough of them. Is it the beauty or the peaceful ease in the air? Perhaps it is the history and the artistic nature of the monuments. Recently I came upon a cemetery quite by accident. Taking note of it while riding along on a small country road, I knew I had to stop. I wasn't disappointed.

Many of the grave stones had symbols and/or ornamentation that I was not familiar with. But, with a little investigating, I have learned quite a bit about the symbolism. This lamb stands for innocence. Typically, it will mark the grave of a child. Christians will even associate it with the Lamb of God, meaning Jesus. This young woman had not yet turned twenty at the time of her passing.

A dove represents the Holy Spirit, as well as purity and spirituality. People of the Jewish and Catholic faiths utilize the dove in their monuments.



A scroll can symbolize several things. If it is held by a hand it can represent life being recorded by angels. It can also signify honor and commemoration. It also exhibits a life that is unfolding like a scroll of uncertain length. I have to say that this was the first scroll I have seen in a cemetery.


The double headstone of this man and wife is my favorite. Beautiful with age and patina, the headstones are about to be engulfed by the honeysuckle vine.

My favorite part of this picture is the wrought iron fence that is enclosing the family plot. In fact, it was the subject of my most recent Thoughtless Thursday picture.


A cemetery that I would like to visit is Highgate cemetery. Located in London it is full of character, age, and a few famous inhabitants. If you would like to read more about it, and see a few photos, you can do so here. To me, Highgate is the epitome of an old cemetery.
If you would like to read and investigate more about the symbolism found in cemeteries you can do so here.




4 comments:

  1. Fascinating. I love old cemeteries too and I think I told you so on Thursday's post too, so forgive me if I am repeating. Happy Memorial Day!

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  2. This was a great post and I guessed that the fence picture was very old.....perfect set up:)

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  3. Very interesting reading!
    There are a few cemetaries around here that I plan to visit and I will keep this info in mind when I do.

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  4. I also love old cemeteries. We visited a couple over Memorial Day Weekend. Our old family cemetery up the holler we grew up and Teays Hill Cemetery in St. Albans where my mother is buried. It is a very old cemetery and it is fascinating to look at all the old tombstones.

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