Saturday, August 9, 2008

Monroe Presbyterian Cemetery

My husband and I decided that it would be a sin to stay in today as the weather was absolutely perfect (though we were still feeling the aftereffects of celebrating the completion of my master's program with some of my awesome coworkers last night).

We often take drives out in the country when we are bored, looking for old cemeteries to explore. I am always surprised how many we've driven past and never noticed. Monroe Presbyterian Cemetery is one such place. It was here I found several good examples of symbols I've seen before and one I had read about some time ago and had to look up again.

Garland or wreath: Victory or triumph. I have read two different interpretations as to what is being triumphed over or won. One explanation is that it symbolizes the triumph of death over life and the other is the exact opposite--everlasting life winning out over mortal death. I think I like the idea of the second one better, as it would seem like something a mourning relative might find comfort in.

This is a variation of the Union shield, found on the graves of soldiers.

Drapery: Represents mourning. Notice the finial propped up on top. Someone takes really good care of this cemetery and makes an effort to match up broken pieces.

The sleeping lamb, symbolic of innocence. Usually found, as in this case, on the graves of children.

The Mortal Coil. This is the first time I have seen the symbol on a stone in person. In addition to other meanings, I've read that it is an old Irish symbol of the universe or sun. Notice the engraved age of the child; when lives were often so short, they made note of every day of life. I notice this a lot in cemeteries with lots of epidemic burials as well.

No comments: