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Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
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 Post subject: US cemetary symbols
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2010, 10:51 
Grand Poobah
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Alpha & Omega: first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Symbolizes the beginning and the end. (Christian Symbolism)

Anchor: marine symbols signifying hope and an object to cling to for safety. Usually has an elaborate rope or chain. Sometimes combined with a cross.

Animals: lambs depict the innocence of children or the sacrificial Lamb of God. Serpents are trampled in triumph over sin and death, or eat their tails in the old Celtic symbol of eternity. Doves are for the Holy Spirit, love, peace, or renewed life.

Ball or Globe: (the Bailey family is the most obvious example in Forest Lawn) represents eternity and Heaven's dominance over earthly matters.

Broken chains: usually situated around the top of a headstone to symbolise the links of love with a family broken in death.

Column (broken): Not an indication of vandalism!! Often an indication of a life left unfinished when cut off by death. Often decorated with laurel wreaths. Other forms are a tree without branches, a tree stump, and a tree trunk with an embedded axe.

Column: a freestanding column represents the sky, God and deities in general

Death: often symbolized with a scythe, or as an archer, or as a skeleton, or as a skull and crossbones.

Griffin: body of a lion with a head and wings of an eagle. Signifies power, a guardian of treasure and watchfulness.

"IHS": sometimes looks like a dollar sign. IHS stands for the first three letters of Jesus' name in the Greek alphabet

Keys: they stand for spiritual knowledge or if held in the hands of an angel or saint, the means to enter heaven.

Obelisk: symbol of eternal life, fertility, regeneration, and resurrection. It was originally an Ancient Egyptian symbol, and was later adopted by Christians.
~a broken obelisk also symbolizes a life cut short...

Scales: Often marks the grave of someone who was in the legal profession. Sometimes seen with a statue of St. Michael, which symbolizes his duty of weighing the souls of the departed.

Scroll: Symbol of life and time. Both ends rolled up indicates a life that is unfolding like a scroll of uncertain length and a past and future that remains hidden...often held by a hand which represents one's life being recorded by the Angels. It can also suggest honor and commemoration.

Sphinx: It is a Egyptian mythological guardian figure that represents strength and protection.

Urn: Signifies death and mourning. Popular during the late Victorian period in a vase form and earlier in a stylized "gravy boat" form...Symbolic of Roman cremation urns depicting remembrance, they are often draped with Christ's shroud or put in an altar draped with a lace-fringed cloth.

XP, commonly overlapped: the Chi-Rho, one of the oldest Christian symbols. XP are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ.

Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!

 Post subject: Re: US cemetary symbols
PostPosted: 12 Feb 2010, 15:49 
Second-Sight Apprentice
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008, 13:41
Posts: 267
Location: West Virginia, USA
Old headstones have so much charm compared to todays.

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