Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Death Casts a Pall



Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

One of my favorite symbols in 19th century cemeteries is the mourning cloth, or more correctly, the “mort-cloth,” the cloth of death.   This cloth represents the black pall or large cloth that covered the casket of the deceased.  The casket covered with the pall would then be carried to the cemetery by the…  wait for it…  pallbearers.  The things you learn on this blog, eh??

The cloth can also be a symbolic of the “veil” that separates the afterlife from the material world.   Many times, I see urns draped with a mourning cloth, which depicts the body (the urn) shrouded in mourning after its soul has passed through the veil into the afterlife.  The part of the mourning cloth that intrigues me the most is the skill of the carving:  some of these “cloths” look so real.  They seem to have movement and texture.  The finely executed fringe and tassels add to the look of a real textile, and sometimes the folds are so deep and rich, I imagine it must be a heavy black velvet.  And then…one touch, and I encounter hard, cold stone.  They are truly works of art, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Beth Israel Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Bethany Presbyterian Cemetery, Bethany, PA

Bethel Methodist Cemetery, Bedford Valley, PA

Bethel Methodist Cemetery, Bedford Valley, PA

Christ Church Cemetery, Shrewsbury, NJ

Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, PA

Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

This is the back.  They put this much effort into the back.  Incredible.  Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

And this it the front of one of them.  Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA


Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA


Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

This was high-quality Italian marble imported by a wealthy doctor and his wife to memorialize their daughter.  This is in incredibly good shape.  Glen Dyberry Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Glen Dyberry Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Glen Dyberry Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Greenwood Cemetery, Falls, PA

Immanuel Leidy's Cemetery, Souderton, PA

Indian Orchard Cemetery, Indian Orchard, PA

Kizer Cemetery, Cortez, PA

Lamb Cemetery, Jackson, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Maplewood Cemetery, Carbondale, PA

Montrose Cemetery, Montrose, PA

Montrose Cemetery, Montrose, PA

New Britain Baptist Cemetery, New Britain, PA

Poor little Lofton, Nicholson Cemetery, Nicholson, PA

Odd Fellows Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Odd Fellows Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Odd Fellows Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Old Brooklyn Cemetery, Brooklyn, PA

Overfield Cemetery, Meshoppen, PA

St. John's Union Cemetery, Nazareth, PA

St. Peter's Episcopal Cemetery, Perth Amboy, NJ

St. Peter's Episcopal Cemetery, Lewes, DE

Thompson Cemetery, Thompson, PA

Wentz UCC Cemetery, Worcester, PA

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

Stone Church Cemetery, Stone Church, PA

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY  (who is that cranky-looking dude in the background???)

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, NY

Orvilla Cemetery, Orvilla, PA

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

This took my breath away.  Red sandstone, and just quality craftsmanship.  Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

A close-up, and I altered the tint on it.  I still want to reach out and touch it, to feel the heavy brocade and the silky fringe, even though I know it's just a rock.  This is marvelous.                                              Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ



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