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Archive for the ‘Symbolism’ Category

Frank Irvin

The shell on this tombstone in Lake View Cemetery intrigues me.  A shell like this, specifically a scallop shell, is the pilgrimage symbol for Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where there is a shrine to the apostle St. James the Greater.  The shrine holds bones that are reputed to be those of the saint, also the patron saint of Spain, and has been a pilgrimage site for Christians since the 9th century.  Medieval pilgrims would wear a shell as a symbol of their journey, and such scallop shells are still available today.  Did Irvin make this journey and treasure it in such a way that a representation of it was to be on his grave marker?

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When I wrote about the Sacred Heart previously, I mentioned that sometimes the heart would have blood droplets as if it was in the act of bleeding. This heart shows that feature very clearly.

Abbey graveyard (45)

Abbey graveyard (44)

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Mongey Monument on Hill of Tara

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The symbol on this tombstone is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ – a flaming heart within a crown of thorns and topped with a cross. Some representations also include a halo of divine light, blood drops, or a lance wound like the one that Christ received in his side during the crucifixion. There is an associated Roman Catholic devotion.

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Brown

In my other life, I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and one of my particular areas of interest is prayer beads. The rosary wasn’t standardized until the 1560s, but there were various forms of prayer beads used in Christian Europe for the previous few hundred years, and the rosary became the best known one and most associated with Roman Catholicism.

Petralia (2)

Cusano

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In a tiny little veterans section of Lake View Cemetery, I found a more diverse selection of the emblems of belief available for government headstones for veterans. All the available emblems are listed here.

The most common one that I see is described simply as a Christian Cross.
Wilson

Sgt. Eddie Fields’ stone has the symbol for the United Methodist Church.
Fields (2)

The Roberts selected the emblem for the Unitarian Church/Unitarian Universalist Association.
Roberts (1)

The emblem for the United Church of Christ tops Sgt. Yancey’s stone.
Yancey (1)

Cpl. Mack Crosby has the Episcopal Cross.
Crosby (1)

The Didios’ stone has a symbol designated as representing “Christian Church.”
Didio

The Nesbitts have a Star of David, representative of Judaism.
Nesbit

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Farina

Spears

I find a lot of little five-pointed stars on cemetery monuments. Based on a little bit of research, five-pointed stars often are supposed to symbolize Christ, specifically the five wounds of Christ from the crucifixion.

Ida Bell and Nettie Dora Cook

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Recently, I wrote about the Christian symbolism associated with the combination of the Greek letters alpha and omega. I’ve found even more photos that include this and wanted to share them with you.

The Holley family in Lake View Cemetery has them intertwined.

Holley

The Smiths of Forest Lawn Cemetery included the alpha and the omega symbols on their marker.

Smith

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Beren

Kale (3)

One of the most commonly recognized symbols of Judaism is the Star of David, a hexagram created by two overlapping triangles.

Brandman

Stein (8)

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Harris (6)

The symbolism of the empty chair isn’t limited to cemeteries. It’s how the likelihood of Tiny Tim’s death is revealed to Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Those who have ever watched Les Miserables know the song “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” sung by one of the few survivors of a failed revolution to his fallen comrades. An unoccupied chair is a silent reminder of those who are not with us.

Harris

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Norton (4)

Walter Norton’s monument doesn’t state his occupation, but I’m going to guess that he was a sailor, possibly specifically a captain or navigator, since he has both an anchor and an astrolabe on his monument.

Norton (2)

Norton (3)

Norton

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