Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cemetery Symbolism: The Wreath



The Wreath: Dating back to ancient Greece, the wreath signified victory. Christians adopted the symbol to stand for salvation, victory in death. (Note the somewhat unusual use of the same motif for three family members)

(Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church, West Brandywine Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania)

9 comments:

Jeff said...

jason,
That's a nice picture. Were you able to make out the dates on the headstones? They look old.

Kelly Parra said...

Another cool image. Nicely angled and good cropping. LOL! I know weird I take all those into consideration. ;D

jason evans said...

Kelly, even though I wasn't taking an "artsy" picture, I still couldn't stop myself from purposefully composing the picture! LOL! So, you're not weird at all. (Oh wait, I suppose there could be another conclusion which could be reached....)

Jeff, most of these Federalist and Victorian era headstones have weathered badly. The dates here are probably readable, but just barely. I wonder if they chose this type of stone during that era because it was easier to work and make the elaborate carvings. Some of the Revolutionary War era stones were actually in better shape, but they seemed to be a type of slate.

I plan on doing an ongoing cemetery symbolism series of posts.

Beanie said...

I'm curious - what are your thoughts on salvation and the theory of life after death?

jane said...

Lovely shot!

jason evans said...

Jane, thanks. Funny how gravestones are so photogenic.

Beanie, ohhhh that's a big one, isn't it? I'm a bit reluctant to get into it. On this site, I follow the advice against conversations in religion and politics. However, I do very much intend to discuss the human condition (hence, my "insight" posts). I think I'll do a post soon that deals with my theory on the origins of human conflict. For now, let's just say I reject structured religion as hopelessly incapable of uncovering objective, cosmic truths. Salvation and life after death? They don't lend themselves to being objectively proved or disproved. Therefore, I think it's a personal choice to believe or not. Neither choice is right or wrong until we each meet our moment of death. Only then will we know if salvation and life after death exist.

mermaid said...

It has an eerie, yet wonderfully spiritual feel to it.

jason evans said...

Mermaid, eerie yet spiritual, comforting...yes, you've hit on how I feel about old cemeteries.

Mark Pettus said...

I keep picturing the scene when after the death of family member number four...

"What do you mean you're not going to put on Grampa's stone? You have to put a wreath on there, it's tradition."

"Shut up and put that silverware back in the drawer. Grandma ain't dead yet, and she's still gotta eat."