Graveyard

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Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Anchored in Hope


Christian allegory of Hope, with her anchor, Augustus Lutheran Cemetery, Trappe, PA 

A repeat of an earlier post about anchors:   Some of the following photographs of anchors on tombstones represent people who were in a nautical or naval occupation, and that makes sense, as ships and boats have anchors to keep them from floating away---it's a good symbol since it could also be interpreted as someone who was determined and grounded, not aimless.  But anchors can be found on tombstones in cemeteries that are nowhere near large bodies of water, adorning graves of people who weren't in the Navy or who weren't involved with a job on the water.  And that is because the anchor is more than just a simple nautical symbol; the anchor is a symbol of Christian faith.
 
Anchors used to be secret crosses.  According to Stories in Stone by Douglas Keister, when Christians first began to practice their religion, it was outlawed, and if caught practicing, they were persecuted (i.e in Rome, their punishment was to provide “entertainment” in public arenas as they were forced to battle experienced warriors or wild animals).  The anchor was a sign from one Christian to another as a profession of their faith, like a secret handshake or knock.  

The anchor was a secret symbol for about 300 years.  In 312, the Roman emperor Constantine had his vision of the Christian cross before the battle he won against the Turks.  After his victory, he wholeheartedly converted to Christianity, and the entire Roman empire was forced to follow suit.  Christianity was no longer forced to exist behind closed doors.
 
The anchor continued to be a Christian symbol of hope, and still is today.  The passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews 6 states:  “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…”  The three theological Virtues (human forms that represent core Christian values) include Faith, Hope and Charity, and the figure of Hope almost always has an anchor with her. 
 
So many 19th century symbols on tombstones pertain to Christianity and the afterlife.  David Robinson states in Beautiful Death:  Art of the Cemetery that the 19th century saw a “psychological shift…from emotion centered on oneself…to [emotion for] the family.”  The religious revivals that swept America in the 1800’s reinforced the importance of family, and cemetery monuments honored the family, not just the individual.  Before the advent of the rural landscaped cemetery, people were buried in churchyards, in order of date of death, not necessarily near other family members.  The rural cemetery concept allowed for purchase of a family burial plot, reinforcing the concept of the family, together forever, now and in the future, in the afterlife.  So many of the symbols we find in 19th century tombstones represent Christian values of a better afterlife, and they promise a joyous reunion of the family, someday in Heaven.  Here's to hoping it's true!
 
 
Brodheadsville Cemetery, Brodheadsville, PA


A meshing of the Cross and the Anchor, Brodheadsville Cemetery, Brodheadsville, PA

A broken anchor for Lt. John Brockenbough Randolph, US Navy, who died only 10 days after returning to the US after being stationed in Japan.  His grandfather's house in VA was the "White House" of the Confederacy during the Civil War.  His uncle was the son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson.  I never have any of these family connections.
Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC

Close-up, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC

Bethel Cemetery, Chesapeake City, MD

 Christ Church Cemetery, Shrewsbury, NJ

There's a dove or some kind of bird with spread wings in front of the anchor, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Effort Cemetery, Effort, PA

Most likely, the hand of God holding the anchor of Hope over the Bible, Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, WV

Hope mourning the deceased, represented by the broken column, Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Wrought iron gate of a family plot, with the all-seeing eye of God over the anchor of Hope, Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ

Forty Fort Cemetery, Forty Fort, PA

Green Mount Cemetery, Bath, PA

The anchor is above the names of the deceased.  This isn't Hope on top, but a mourning statue holding a garland of roses.  Roses meant love then like they do now, and a garland is simply an open wreath or crown, a symbol of triumph over death.  Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Hazleton Cemetery, Hazleton, PA

Love this heart and anchor, Zion's Stone Church Cemetery, New Ringgold, PA

Heidelberg Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

This is Hope, can you see the anchor leaning against her, with the cross on top of it?  Hope Cemetery, Hecktown, PA


I know, right??  Of all the last names....   Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA


Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA


Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA

Tough to see al these PA German symbols here...the anchor is 2nd from the left.  I think there is an angel flying in on the right, Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Sellersville, PA


Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Anchor with palm leaf (Symbol of Christ) and oak leaves (symbol of strength), Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Mauch Chunk, PA


Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ


Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

This is fascinating, an iron anchor in front of a very-tough-to-read Revolutionary War veteran's gravestone, Mount Prospect Cemetery, Neptune, NJ


Another view, Mount Prospect Cemetery, Neptune, NJ

Probably a Navy symbol, Mount Prospect Cemetery, Neptune, NJ


Mount Prospect Cemetery, Neptune, NJ

Mt. Bethel United Methodist Cemetery, Myersville, MD

Mumma Cemetery on Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, MD

Very similar to the one in WV, New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, E. Greenville, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, E. Greenville, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, E. Greenville, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, E. Greenville, PA

North Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Take note of this one, you'll see it again (well, most of it) later, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC


Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC


Anchor is missing its rounded bottom piece, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC

Definitely a Navy man!  When Commodore Charles Morris died in 1856, he was the second highest ranking officer in the Navy, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC

Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC


Old Albrightsville Cemetery, Albrightsville, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Twp., PA

Protestant Cemetery, Nesquehoning, PA

Hope again, Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC

Slatington Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

Another Zinc Tombstone, Slatington Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

St. James Episcopal Cemetery, Bristol, PA

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Bryantown, MD

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Bryantown, MD


St. Matthew's Cemetery, Conshohocken, PA

St. Paul's Cemetery, Stone Church, PA


St. Paul's Lutheran Blue Church Cemetery, Coopersburg, PA


Another Zinc, St. Peter's Evan Lutheran Cemetery, Lafayette Hill, PA


Ah yes.....she's a little shorter here...Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


Willow View Cemetery, Clifford, PA


Susquehanna Depot Cemetery, Susquehanna Depot, PA

A War of 1812 Naval Veteran, Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


Union & West End Cemetery, Allentown, PA


Union & West End Cemetery, Allentown, PA

Wesley Church Cemetery, Stroudsburg, PA

West Long Branch United Methodist Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

Ahhhh....Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

This one is amazing, I have another view below it.  It's an anchor, two swords and a wreath, Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ


Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ

Wyoming Cemetery, Wyoming, PA


Family Plot, Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ

Christ Church Cemetery, Shrewsbury, NJ

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA
 

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