Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

But the Soul Burns On…

Torch on its side, East Canaan Cemetery, South Canaan, PA


For all the love I found in you.
There’s just one thing you must believe
By an undying torch of flames,
I will be with you until the end!
                                    ---Lourdes S.

A few blogs back, I wrote about the eternal flame symbol found in cemeteries.  This blog looks at the symbol of an eternal flame that cannot be extinguished, that lives on even when inverted by a force as great as Death.  I refer to the upside-down torch, which is primarily a funerary symbol, found almost exclusively in cemeteries. 

The discovery of the flames of fire changed humankind forever, moving us forward in evolution.  Fire symbolizes life, illumination, intelligence, enlightenment.  The ancient Greeks believed that fire was given to humankind by the god Prometheus and considered fire to have sacred qualities.  The word “lamp” is derived from the Greek word “lampas,” which means torch.

The inverted torch symbolizes death, and the burning flame, which would normally be extinguished when the torch was turned upside down due to a lack of oxygen, symbolizes the flame of eternal life and the Christian belief in resurrection.  The soul of the deceased continues to exist in the next realm.  19th century society may have been a little fixated on death and mourning but hope, it springs eternal…they consoled themselves with hope for a joyous afterlife.


Torches Symbolizing Life, Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, PA

St. Peter's Tohickon UCC Cemetery, Keelersville, PA

Doylestown Cemetery, Doylestown, PA

Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, PA

Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA




Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Montgomery Baptist Cemetery, Montgomeryville, PA

Neshaminy Presbyterian Cemetery, Warrington, PA

Neshaminy Presbyterian Cemetery, Warrington, PA

Riverside Cemetery, Norristown, PA

St. Peter's Tohickon UCC Cemetery, Keelersville, PA

St. Peter's Tohickon UCC Cemetery, Keelersville, PA

St. Peter's Tohickon UCC, Keelersville, PA

Deep Run Mennonite East, Bedminster, PA

Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

St. Peter's Tohickon UCC Cemetery, Keelersville, PA
Neshaminy Presbyterian Cemetery, Warrington, PA

St. Peter's Tohickon UCC Cemetery, Keelersville, PA

1 comment:

HookMan said...

Thanks for the post. I didn't know the meaning of inverted torches before. Learn something new every day!